105 Ways to Give a Book

What Happens on Wednesdays...

...stays on Wednesdays.

A child bit my child yesterday. This would be another normal milestone in the parental path except for the fact that my child is eleven years old. And the biter was twelve. Sixth graders, biting and being bitten over sharing a hula hoop at recess. What is going on here?

It defines in one scenario the way that everything seems off kilter, in big and small ways. In the world we went from uprising in Egypt to devastation in Japan to bombing in Libya. In the United States, one man takes away the rights of multitudes and the conversation is about the lavish salaries of teachers while we ignore the compensation packages of executives that the taxpayers bailed out. In my area, two of the richest counties in the nation are looking at reducing contributions to programs that serve homeless children in our community. In my home I am wrestling with the limbo that is my mother’s condition even given access to the nation’s best physicians, and a situation with my daughter’s friend in great need and a family who seems unable and somewhat unwilling to provide.

And some kid bit my kid in sixth grade, which isn’t such big a deal really, but somehow puts into focus the sense that everything is off balance. I think my newfound drive to tackle household clutter is coming from a need to organize and straighten my surroundings in a chaotic time. The earthquake in Japan shifted the earth’s axis. I feel mine shifted as well.

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6 comments:

tanita davis said...

Man. I met you in person just once, yet I miss you. I imagine us commiserating over tea - we are having the same life, at the mo. I mean, short of me having zero children to be bitten... but I, too, am feeling like things are utterly out of control, and tiny injustices are just that tipping point...

In the larger world, in the microcosm of family and family friends, so many domino tiles, balanced just so for years, have been nudged and thus gone tumbling. In response, I am turning out closets and emptying storage, because for the love of God, SOMETHING IS GOING TO BE ORGANIZED AND COHERENT AROUND HERE.

I cannot bear the inadequacy of being human at times. I feel like a moon jelly hoping to prevent sharks from chowing down on a school of fish. What am I going to do, drift over them threateningly!? Ach. Helplessness. And yet:

I remind myself that I have a voice, and my voice - whether in prayer or speaking out, or putting my money where my mouth is - helps.

And two, the world is also getting some good out of the donated items coming from my now organized closets... and it's a reminder to me that I don't need that much to survive. And we will. Survive this, as a world, I mean. Sometimes, all we can do is look at the big picture, because the details are ...agonizing.

All this to say: I hear you. You are not alone.

Pen and Ink said...

Please put a FaceBook thingy on your blog so I can share it more easily. I love your post and Tanita's comment. Both well and thoughtfully written.
Occasionally the winds of chaos blow free and it is reflected in everything from the macrocosm to the microcosm.
I was divorced during one such wind. The wave of divorces during that particular period was very high.
Yeah the winds of chaos are blowing, but I believe they will die down again. In the meantime, we get to believe that we DO make a difference by what we do in our daily lives. I believe with Ghandi on this one. "Be the Change you wish to see in the world." And it sounds to me like both you and Tanita are doing that. Blessings!

Colleen said...

I have it (whatever the heck "it" is) so bad that I'm organizing my photos into photo albums. (If you knew the mess I was tackling you would appreciate how much I must be aching for organization to deal with this).

The bite is awful and bizarre. Truly. As for the rest, I'm right there with you. The only solace I take is remembering when I was a kid and the U2 used to fly over my house on the way back from Cuba. That was insanity of a whole different time but still, that notion that something bad might happen very soon, was with me for years.

We survived that and so I know, I KNOW, we shall get past this all as well.

Now I'm getting back to my photos...

carly@LearningParade said...

My toddler has learned to nip lately and it's done in context, like when she hates me changing her nappy, she'll pinch my arm. Ouch! Let's hope by twelve she has some manners and management strategies - oh, and toilet training in place lol

aquafortis said...

Hugs for you guys. I don't have anything adequate to say, but if I could see you right now I would hug you.

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

When the big world seems chaotic and upended, find order in little things. Look for springtime to awaken nature (unless you're in the deep south where it's already summertime).
When your personal world is disordered and out of sync, find order in the bigger world.
And when both seem crazy, hold your kids close and remember that this too shall pass. It always does. <3