Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Breaking the Neigh-Neigh and Back Again

I tipped it over the edge of the kitchen table early one morning, the hand-blown blue glass bowl made for me by one of my employees over a decade earlier.

I tipped it over the edge, and I knew in that sickening second that there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I had moved it from the coffee table so my nephew, who was staying with us and sleeping on the coach, wouldn't have to worry about knocking it over.

I tipped it over the edge, and it crashed -- a billion blue glass splinters eclipsing the kitchen floor.

My heart imploded and became a dying white dwarf in the cold, vacuous night. It wasn't just the sentimental value of the gift itself: the gift itself represented an emotionally volatile period of time for me. The breaking was a mixed metaphor of closure and emotional oblivion.

But I moved on, because that's what we do (or try to do). No way to fix it otherwise.

That was years ago, a long time before Beatrice and Bryce.

Last week, as Bea played with one of her (latest) favorite things, a ceramic little boy on a rocking horse, she dropped it and the boy's head broke off.

At first, her reaction was limited but normal. "Uh, oh. Broke!"

But then, after a little time went by, the consequence of what had happened really began to work her over emotionally, no matter how many times we told her it was an accident.

Tears streamed down her red face as she cried and howled, "Broke horse! Fix it! Broke! Fix it!"

It's as if, as much as she could understand in her less than three-year-old mind, the breaking caused irreparable damage to the very DNA of her soul.

A little over-dramatic? Maybe, but you wouldn't think that watching her (or your own children).

"Broke! Fix it! Broke! Fix it!"

We told her daddy would fix it, that it wasn't her fault, and then --

In that moment I tried to reconstruct the billions of little blue glass bits with the foreknowledge of the many broken moments to come for both Bryce and Bea, and the many that had come before for Mama and me.

Which was almost a bit too much for me.

We'll fix it, it was an accident...

However, for most of us, resiliency is baked into the soul's DNA, and we go from surprising the neigh-neigh to breaking the neigh-neigh and back again.

At least we hope we do.

Happy Easter and all the hope that comes with it.


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