I would like to be the first to admit that I have a problem. What the problem is, I'm not sure exactly, but I suspect it has to do with some sort of over identification or maybe just some kind of obsessive ego-centrism when confronted with frightened or hurt children. It started when I was pregnant with Birdie.
The morning of September 11th, 2001 I had driven up to a girlfriends house to haul my five month pregnant self around her neighborhood for exercises. After the walk I had hopped back in my car to drive back to our apartment so I could get ready for work. The radio announcers were talking about the attacks and my first reaction was that it had to be an advertisement or some bad joke. Once I figured out that they were reporting an actual attack on US soil, I realised that I had my arms both curled around my swollen belly like I was trying to shield the tiny life inside of me.
Last year there was a woman in our congregation who lost her premature baby. He lived for 45 minutes and then died. I was grateful that I was gone the day they sent around the sign-up sheet to bring food to the funeral luncheon. I have a hard time typing these sentences about what happened, let alone try and look the grieving mother in the eye and not turning into some blithering pile of jelly that has to be scraped up off the floor and removed via dust pan.
Since then, I have been through a little bit o' drama with Pearl... and have been able to also bring dinner to a different woman who, after a valiant battle so save her unborn baby boy ended up losing him to the failings of his own little body. I did it with out any of the melting, or sobbing, or dramatic hoo-dah that I feared, but I am still much freakier than I care for. I am not used to living with my tears and my fears so close to the surface. It's there for total strangers, and my heart is tender for the fictional as well as the real. It's hard to live this way.
Movies that depict the lone screaming child standing in the path of the horrendous mob or oncoming enemy? Yikes, it leaves me in a puddle. Law and Order SVU? Never. Ever. Ever. I must have seen the movie AI for the first time before I had Birdie, because... Holy HANNAH! The scene where the Mom leaves the little robot boy alone in the forest? I tried to watch the show again on DVD, and started sobbing at that point, couldn't finish watching the show.
Last night the Chaos family enjoyed a birthday meal at our favorite restaurant... they give the birthday kid a Lolly pop Sundae and do a loud clapping rendition of a song to celebrate. Grandma and Grandpa met us there, so it was an extra good time. After we got home and got everyone to bed, I flipped on the TV to pass a half hour or so. Bad move. Every channel was covering this story about a gunman who walked into Trolley Square and just started blowing people away. Before I knew it I was glued to interview after interview of folks who had been enjoying a family night out at restaurants, shopping... just a low key evening out. Parents running, and hiding, and stuffing their children in any nook or cranny they could find. Parents trying to keep their kids safe. Not enough that five innocents lost their lives and still others fighting for their lives on hospital tables, I glommed onto the scared kids and parents.
Now, I think I have been in Trolley Square like four times in my life, I avoid all mall type shopping at all costs. I live a good hours drive away from SLC, plus.... it wasn't me. I wasn't there, and I despise that odd glitch people sometimes have of "well my sisters, brother's, cousins best friend died in that fire and it really has me freaked OUT!" But I really am just a little freaked out. It's too close to home, and comes on top of a few strange and sad tales that I have been sitting on... two blocks away a father of young children raping a neighbor girl in an upstairs bedroom. A registered sex offender moving in just down the street. I can see his house when I look out my front window. One other darker tale than this that just comes off as gossip of the worst sort when I try to write it...
Last night, poor Dadguy came into the front room where I sat in the light pouring off of the newscast playing on the TV screen and asked what was up. I started to tell him and I'm betting that my voice was starting to sound a little...mmmm, strident? I got to the point where I started to tell him that I was a little freaked out because we had gone out to eat that night and.... He interrupted around then saying something about getting way to personal... and then I interrupted him. Yelling at him that I was perfectly aware that I was crazy! That I didn't need HIM telling me how crazy I was, and I would be the one to say that I was WAHHHHhhhhhhh!
Sorry Dadguy, another close encounter with freakshow mama. And yet again, sorry Dadguy... but I don't think this particular party of weird is done. This morning I read the post from Elizasmom about a sweet little conversation she had with her kid on the way to the mall, and all I could think was at least it was a safe trip, no lunatic 18 year old's with a shotgun. I wanted to slap my OWN self and tell me to get a grip already!