I remember when I was a kid that there'd be these defining moments, when I newly was aware of myself as an independent being in the world. Suddenly, my surroundings in relation to me were so stark and clear. Hands in pockets. In a bright shop. My mom was over there. The cashier was looking at me, smiling. I was wearing new sneakers with strawberry laces.
The past couple of weeks potty training G, I have noticed him having what I believe to be those defining moments. In his new underpants, he has a certain swagger. He demands we dress him in jeans. He puts his hands in his pockets and announces he is a big kid. He walks separate from us with a determined stride. I have this sense he is seeing himself as his own person in the world.
It's amazing how having a kid in your life can make you remember stuff like that.
-------------------------------------- Hold tight, Monkey!
I got totally caught up in the whole balloon kid thing today, didn't you? As a mom, the anguish over his safety was gut-wrenching. How many times has a parent or caregiver morbidly imagined that, in the moment they took their eyes off the kid, something horrifying and unanticipated happened. And everyone, yourself included, would cite you as an example of why people LIKE YOU should not have kids. Because YOU didn't anticipate the worst.
And what a huge relief to check the news after supper and see he was ok. Seeing this kids - whose parents have subjected him to a reality tv show - grinning away at the camera...the optics were so bad when you consider all these people calling hoax. But I do give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, people love their righteous indignation, and you have to take a step back from all the breathless condemnation and conjecture and just be glad the kid is alive.
And the kids in this story - they've gotten so much praise for being on camera and in the public eye - no wonder they can't stop grinning. They probably think it's all for entertainment's sake, and I doubt they grasp the gravity of what happened today.
But yeah, it was brutal to watch. Because I'm sometimes paralysed by fear at how little I can control the world and keep it safe for my little boy with his underpants swagger. And seeing that balloon tossed about by the wind, thinking of a child inside - I mean that's the perfect metaphor, isn't it? How can you control the wind?