I was 6 years old when my parents and I went to their friends the Carrigans’ house in Albuquerque to watch The Princess Bride together. Their daughter Ali was about 7, and scared the sh*t out of me. It also scared the sh*t out of me when Inigo got his face cut with a sword in his fight with Wesley early on in the movie. I freaked the f**k out and refused to watch any more. So, Mom & Dad put me to bed in Ali’s bedroom. I knew the plan was for me to sleep over but I was having none of it. Pretty sure I threw a monumental tantrum. Buuuuut then I fell asleep before they were done watching the movie, and when I woke up, it was the middle of the night, and my parents were gone, and I wasn’t sure where I was. I freaked the f**k out all over again, woke up the entire household, and the Carrigans called my parents (who were just a few minutes away at my Aunt & Uncle’s), who came to pick me up. I was safe in a comfortable home with people I knew and that I knew my parents trusted, and my disoriented terror lasted 15 minutes, tops, before my beleaguered parents came to retrieve me. And it’s still one of the most vivid memories from my childhood.
Border security is a real concern where I’m from, where ranchers live off the land on the thinnest of profit margins. It’s not a matter of if the borders should be protected but how. But there MUST be a way to meet those needs that doesn’t involve terrorizing thousands of children in ways that are exponentially more horrible than my little Princess Bride/anti-sleepover episode.
I can laugh now at ROUS’s and the Pit of Despair and the brilliantly silly dialogue. I’ve never had to run for my life; my father has not been slaughtered by a six-fingered man or drug cartel boss.
I can’t laugh at the desperation of a family that would cause them to flee their homeland, nor the horror of being ripped from one another when they went to the wrong checkpoint to seek asylum. And I hope I never can.