Wednesday, January 16, 2013

bacon tears

Thys sobbed in my arms tonight. He bawled in the way that happens when you release all composure (which six-year olds don't even have yet) and give in to your visceral instinct: his little body shook, tears raced down his cheeks, and his voice tried to contain itself (but I could sense its longing to release).

It all started over bacon.

You see, I was supposed to make bacon for breakfast this morning.

But I forgot to get up early.

And I forgot to thaw it last night.

This did not go over well.

The day truly began with disappointment.

(Don’t all days end up with this sooner of later? Sometimes better to get it out of the way, I say.)

The announcement about the lack of bacon was greeted with vehement protests.

I wanted to yell: “Stop crying! Like you always do! I am so tired of it!” 
I wanted to slam a door. Or kick something.
I wanted to reason the tears out of existence: “Do you have any idea how good you have it in life?”
I wanted to appease: “Fine! I’ll make your fucking bacon!”
I wanted to hurt back. I confess. I did want this. I have little patience for irrationality.
I wanted to squelch the bacon tears with reality: “Really? We’re talking about bacon, for God’s sake, which is about the stupidest thing to cry about. Couldn’t you pick something important, like the Middle East or Kate Middelton’s baby?”

But tonight, when the bacon memories came back and he started crying all over again, all I could do was hold his little head in my arms and kiss his soft cheeks and whisper in his ears while his voice pounded, “uhhhhhh, uhhhhhhhh” in unison with his pulsing body. And. All I could say: “It’s okay’re’ll be okay...” 

And when you hold another trembling human, you have no choice but to soak in a bit of the pain, even if you don’t understand it. 

But you wonder about it.

And you wonder where it comes from. And if it’s a community pain. Or a generational pain. If it's a pain of longing. Or one of sadness. God knows it cannot be a pain of shame. Not yet.

But it certainly cannot be all about the bacon. At least I don’t think so.

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