Thursday, December 3, 2015

"We're all we've got on this bouncing ball"*

There are a lot of things the political/news junkie in me would like to say about the shooting in San Bernardino.  But today is not the time for that.  Today is the time for us to heal as a nation.  To embrace California, the way we've embraced Fort Hood, Colorado, New York, Paris, The Pentagon, those amazing people and their families from Flight 93, and a dozen other locations and hundreds of thousands of other people over the last 20 years. Today's the time to smile at your husband and laugh with your kids.  To hug and kiss and cuddle.  To think about the things that makes your family uniquely special and to honor and cherish that.  To grieve for a nation that has come to this.  That has fucking come to this.  

Look, it's no secret that I've got the rage of a thousand furies and most people would tell you that my first instinct in every situation is "fight", not flight.  But the other side of that is that somehow I do compassion really freaking well.  And right now, we have a nation in mourning.  I believe, if my old lady  memory serves that this is the deadliest shooting since the 12 dead at the Dark Knight shooting and the 13 dead at Fort Hood.  Whoever is responsible, whatever their motivation, whatever the answers are, let's leave that for another day.  I believe strongly in that (paraphrased here) quote about not hardening our children to go into a hard world, but softening our children to bring love into a hard world.

Last night, the house was thick with anxiety because I just can't walk away from the news, no matter how badly my anxiety (and my counselor) says I should.  My oldest son, who understands anxiety in a way no child should have to, brought me a mug of chamomile tea in my Edgar Allen Poe mug.  "To soothe my savage soul", I said as I pulled the child who is taller than me into my lap for a long snuggle.  He nodded, solemnly, my so serious at times, and yet so silly at other times, compassionate, protective Mama's boy.  "Why are you special?", I asked him, as I've done hundreds, if not thousands, of times.  "Because I'm the kid who made you a mom", he said, a smile brightening his serious face.

Today, I woke up early, troubled by nightmares and the news and just generally restless.  It's not an unusual place for me to be.  When Joshua got up, he ran out to snuggle me first thing and asked me, "Mama, J-O-Y, what does that spell?".  They're learning reading and word sounds in pre-school and he's obsessed with his spelling, not unlike his mother at that age.  I tried to figure out where he might've seen that specific word, however, as it is not a common word.  I looked around at the Christmas decorations and didn't see it anywhere.  I told him what it spelled and what it meant and he repeated it a few times, committing it to memory before trotting off to wake his brother.  

Later, on, I picked up my baby, my freaking 4-year-old-where-does-the-time-go-baby, from Headstart where he shines like the star he is.  Where he is a miracle in the lives there, just like he is a miracle in the lives here.  He ran to me and jumped into my arms almost breaking my old lady hips.  He proudly exclaimed, "Mama!" and then immediately laid his head on my shoulder and sucked his thumb.  This has been his gesture since he was a baby that he is truly comfortable with someone, a sign from my baby that he fully trusts and loves someone and is happy to see them.  He chattered all the way home and when we got home, David forgot and opened he door to our building before my Joshua Mark could.  There was a bit of a scuffle as we all walked back outside so Joshua could be a proper gentleman.  It is one of his favorite duties in his life's mission to be chivalrous and proper.  Then, as we climbed the stairs to the mf'ing 3rd floor  he ran ahead a few stairs and turned to wait for me and when I got to the right level, he leaned against me, hugging me and again grabbing and sucking his thumb, letting me know, without words, "Hey Mama, I love you, all is right in our world for the moment".

So I guess I told you these stories because I want to make sure they're captured.  I want to make sure to honor my over-protective 11 year old who brings tea to me before the tears come.  Who has grown so responsible and mature in the last year.  Who has been compassionate since he was 2 or 3 years old, and oh, please God don't let him ever lose that.  I guess I want to honor Joshua Mark who is a billion questions and sometimes I just want to snap because who has answers to all these questions and I'm just a mom trying to do my best y'know?  But then he asks a question like "J-O-Y, what does that spell?"  And who can snap at that?  I guess I want to give you, yes you, something to smile at if, God forbid, you don't have something to smile for.  I guess I want to encourage you to share your own smile-through-the-tears-moments in the comments.  And I guess, for today, I don't want to think about the world outside my own.

*Today's blog title comes from the family song, The Riddle.  Of course.

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