Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Name Is Bon, And I Am A Freakshow...

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!


elizasmom said...

Huh. Well, if you're a freakshow, then, so am I! My mom once told me that when she was a new mom, she burst into tears at the sight of a bum on the street because suddenly all she could think about was that once, he had been as loved and cherished as her own babies were now. At first, I thought this story was kind of funny, but now that I have a child of my own, I not only get it, I've been there myself. How can you not think this way, with all that's going on in the world, sometimes?

Fantastagirl said...

I'm so glad I wasn't blogging when 9/11 happened. The posts would have been garbled, scrambled thoughts, and (wait how is that different from now?)

Do you remember Columbine? I watched the news reports for hours...I knew no one in that area, yet, I watched and waited, hoping that each one would survive, because they had parents, and a parent shouldn't have to go through that... and I wasn't even a parent yet.

I think my grandpa described me best as one with a soft heart.

Bon - you aren't a freakshow - you have a soft heart.

Now, don't think bad of me - but I'm not going to read about this mall thing, cause I don't really want to cry tonight....(I know, I'm a chicken!)

bon said...

Well, I'm feeling like I am in good company tonite.

And gracious! Fantastagirl, I think that is the wiser course.

Blogarita said...

After Sparky was born (I was at her birth), even shows about baby animals would get me all misty, let alone stories about babies. Didn't matter if they were happy or sad, they all had the same affect on me.

I'm pretty much past that now, but that might be in part because Spouse Guy and I have given up watching the news. There's just too much negativity there. (And sometimes that even includes the weather...LOL!)

Mama D said...

Since having A I feel like I have become an even bigger disaster than I was before. I fret. I worry. I imagine the worst.

I can totally understand where you are coming from. It's not such a bad thing. Just hard on us...

Lynanne said...

Add me to the list of freakshow moms. I cry at the drop of a hat, whether it be from sadness, frustration, or happiness. It was quite embarassing when I was still working. I feel for you!

Meredith said...

Add me to the list too. I do think you need to add most moms to the freakshow list.

I can no longer watch any movies or TV shows where a person/child/baby is hurt or threatened in any way. I get almost paralyzed by the mere thought of a child in danger, let alone mine! This of course just leaves me with reality shows and sitcoms.

Last night I went to the mall with my husband and 2 year old son for the sole purpose of getting his feet measured at the Stide Rite. For the whole 15 minute we were there I was tense and looking around at the shoppers wondering who might have a gun and where we could hide. It was awful, just awful.

They say that having a child is like wearing your heart on the outside of your body, but I think it is worse than that. Much worse.

My husband thinks I am crazy too.

Nancy said...

(raises hand)

Another freakshow here. I can barely stand to watch the news, and forget about shows like Grey's Anatomy.

Give me a comedy any day. Other than that, I won't watch TV or movies.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

well, I'm easily way more sensitive to anything child related than I ever was pre-baby. I cannot stand plots that involve doing anything bad to children, I cannot suspend my disbelief. And the weirdos in the woodwork have way more impact on me than they ever used to.

welcome to motherhood, eh? My husband is the same - visibly uncomfortable with the idea that people harm children. How could they?!

I'll add that I know this: try as I might, I cannot protect my children from the world - and it would not be a good idea for me to do that anyway. The sooner they learn about the world the better - they need to learn to take care of themselves, I can't even express how important this is to me. Don't get me wrong - I'm not telling stories about rapists at the dinner table, but if my kids ask me a question I tell them the truth the best way I can.

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