There is a viral photo that makes its way around Facebook and Tumblr and probably every other social media site out there at least once every two or three weeks. And it’s my turn to share it because it’s really important to me.
This picture always jerks my heart-strings. I’ve seen this exact expression on my little boy’s face before. To my shame, there have been times I put it there. I sometimes think I need to see this picture at least twice a day as personal penance for what I did to someone who deserves no less than the fullest expression of my love, but often receives my short temper and my frazzled nerves and my mental vacancy.
And because I have had my fair share of years in suffering for the words of others. No matter how much I was told to “stop being such a baby” or to “grow up” (or the infamous “You think that hurt? How about this?“–usually followed by some physically violent act), I know which injuries actually hurt the most and the longest.
Yesterday, my son said something on our ride home… We’d been having a talk on respect because of an incident at school, and I was asking him how he would have felt if his father or I had done the same thing to him so he might hopefully understand how his actions were affecting others. We seemed to have connected well at the moment, and rather than dwell on the issue, I tried to shift the conversation by pointing out a turtle I saw trying to cross the road in front of us.
“Is he* dead?”
“No. He’s fine. But this is a bad time for him to be crossing the road. There’s a lot of traffic right now.”
“Did you run him over?”
“I was able to go around him, Sweetie.”
“Oh. I hope the car behind us hits him and he dies.”
I just… Well, a double take certain happened. My normally gentle Boodle who still wants to cuddle and hug and sing “You are My Sunshine” with us in his little boy soprano before bedtime–how could he ever want to cause another living creature suffering? I remembered how much he’d cried when, during a walk one day, we saw a dead rabbit along the road once, and he needed a huge hug.
And so I had to ask him again. ‘How would he have felt if either his father or I, or any of his school mates, said that about our kitty Stimpy or about one of us…. Did he really think that was a kind thing to say?’
And maybe I tried to make my point too hard, because I saw that expression. And he woke up last night from a bad dream, because he was sorry that he’d hurt the turtle, and he hoped it didn’t get hit.
Since I didn’t drive him into school today, I didn’t have a chance to see if the turtle did survive. I confess, I’m rather glad. What has happened, has happened. And if I’d driven, I know the Boodle would have asked. He does things like that.
*Yes, I know the turtle was very likely a female looking for a place to nest, but it seemed silly to argue semantics at the time
Now, for my ROW80 check-in:
Most anything I have to report fits into the SNAFU category. Nothing particularly wrong. Stuff is getting done, slowly. I’ve actually made some great progress on my reading so that’s a bonus I had not expected. It just feels like things are stagnating.
I’m experiencing a lot of personal resistance to the editing process for Release. There is a part of myself that so desperately wants to just let the project die, and there is also that part that wants to do something with it. I’m plying my mental energy on other projects while I try to figure out what I want to do. I’m starting to think, if I am going to use it, a full rewrite may be in order, as well as a whole restructuring of all three parts of Parvenu (that Release is the first piece of–or rather used to be ).
Beyond that, I could go into specifics about the number of pages typed, the words explored… Instead, here’s a link to my goals this ROWnd. I’m ahead of everything except number of words of “new story”, and I’m not too far behind on that, even if it’s all in the wrong story.
So, any other ROWers here? How’d your week go?
If you aren’t a ROW80 member and would like to see the blogs of some of our other amazing writers, here’s a linky for this check-in. And here is a link to the main Round of Words in 80 Days for more on this writing challenge.
And lastly, here is one of my favorite Madonna songs: Words because they DO matter.