Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Beauty Interrupted

My boys are in baseball camp this week. Thank God.

I planned poorly this summer. Our last several summers have been consumed by All-Stars; especially last summer, when I was the team Manager. So I thought it would be soooooooooo nice to have no commitments this summer, and just laze about with no schedule, no itinerary, no "need to be there an hour agos".

That was a mistake.

They've been out two weeks, and they are driving me berserk. One is hyperactive, and both have attention disorders. When you couple that with a complete lack of structure and a Mom who has a low tolerance for noise and disorder, what you get is one cranky Mom.

I know..."Send 'em outside!! When we were kids, we weren't allowed to come in the house unless someone was bleeding!"

But it's HOT here. Those not familiar with the South don't understand what I mean when I say "hot". Its a kind of hot that saps the strength from your limbs and steals the breath from your lungs. It's a dangerous hot. A "you could die from this" kind of hot. Even after twenty years here, I am still unequipped to deal with the searing intensity of the Southern summer.

So *I* certainly don't want to be out there during peak hours, and I can't honestly blame my kids for not wanting to be out there. We spend a lot of time at the pool and the local beach and water parks, but our budget will only allow so many visits to the latter, and our small, unappointed neighborhood pool gets old after a while.

We know a guy through the baseball park where the boys play. He is the head Coach for the local High School baseball team, and fortuitously, he is holding a camp this week. They were still accepting registration, so I jumped at the chance and enrolled the boys.

When we left this morning, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The profound humidity of the last two days has evaporated, and there is, blessedly, the tiniest bit of a chill in the air. It's this chill that the whole of the South will be praying for by Mid-July. It feels good to fill my chest with the fresh, clean air. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and everything is still green and lush.

It's one of those days that makes you feel good to be alive.

As I have for the last two days, I wait around until after they have broken up into their respective age groups. I chat with other Moms and just enjoy being out of the house. I watch the herd of boys in their murmuring melee.

Today, perhaps because of my buoyant mood, enhanced by sunshine and the delicious prospect of a morning spent alone, I am struck by the sheer beauty of these children.

They are fair and freckled, dark and wooly, coffe with cream and cream with coffee. They are blonde and brunette and every shade in between. They are short and tall, lean and plump. Some are still sleepy eyed, blinking and yawning. Some are already hard at horseplay, fueled by a kind of energy I will never again know.

The drawers of the smaller boys droop like the seat of a well-worn union suit. They sag comically on slender bottoms. The bigger boys are bursting out of pants that fit them only weeks ago; their knees and elbows jut forth sharp and proud. Many of them display team and tournament shirts. Some, no doubt spurred to practicality by a well intentioned Mom, wear only cotton tank tops.

They tote their water and their equipment and they talk and laugh and smile. Moms holler warnings and hasty good-byes. They say yes while their eyes look elsewhere, too full of happy distraction to pay heed. For what can possibly touch them on a day like today?

The are all eager. They are all exicited. They are all caught up in the magic that is childhood summer. They are all magnificent.

And then, against my will, I am consumed by an unwelcome darkness as I think to myself, that every child should know this kind of freedom, innocence, and joy.

But they don't, and my heart is heavy with that knowledge.

I don't want to think of children who have lost their homes and their families to war, famine, disease and poverty. I don't want to think of children who start their day by drawing water from a contaminated stream, who may eat only one meager meal that day. I don't want to think of children who wake up and head off to work in a dim and roaring factory. I don't want to think of children who are being tormented, tortured and abused.

But how can I look upon my own healthy, happy children and not see the misery of others? How can I look upon my own beautiful boys and not know that they are so very, very lucky? How can I not ache for what other children go without, while also thanking the stars above for all that my children will never hunger for?

It makes the sun shine a little less brightly in a sky that I realize, may not be such a wholesome friendly blue elsewhere in the world.

I push it away, damn me. I push it away and resolve not to think of it today. Not when things are so right in my world. I'll think of it again when they days are cold and gray, and let the chill of sandness seep into my heart and my bones. Maybe I will shed a tear, maybe I will be spurred to action.

I know now is still too late and I let that soothe my guilty conscience as I go about my day, secure in the privilege of forgetting.

But it will come to me again. And again. And again. I know this. And I know that one day I will not be able to push it away. I will be forced to draw it close and embrace it. To breathe in the stench of hopelessness and need. I will have to act.

But not today. Today everything is beautiful. I can believe it.

Can you?


  • At 10:13 AM, Blogger OhTheJoys said…

    I know, I know... We are all connected. So true.

  • At 10:24 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    So evocative, this post. I could just see that tangle of boys...

    And yes, it hurts to think of those other children. Because they exist. And their lives are far from enchanted.

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger Foofa said…

    After your boys are a bit older I see you getting involved with some area non-profit and doing something to help those children in need you obviously care so much about. Never forget that even as you worry about those children someone is out there helping them. Your time to help them will come when you and your family are ready for you to take that challenge on.

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have those same thoughts, especially when every day there are stories of abused and neglected children in our own country. I have been praying that I can find something that I can give my time to that will help, at least just a few.

  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    Don't take this the wrong way (don't you love a sentence that starts like that?) because I do mean this as a compliment: The imagery of this post was beautiful. First the heat and humidity, then the fresh late spring morning, and finally the dark black raincloud on the horizon. Nicely done, BA.

  • At 1:15 PM, Blogger Namito said…

    I just came from Kevin Charnas's page and still feel the gravity of the heartbreaking image and video he posted.

    And there are so many more...

    You give those stark images a voice.
    Harrowing and beautiful. Like the children.

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Stunning post, BA. Like Mrs. C said, the imagery is amazing. You weave it all together so well...

  • At 9:33 PM, Blogger Amie Adams said…

    Proving through yet another example how baseball can be a metaphor for life.

    You express so amazingly thoughts I too share.

  • At 12:08 AM, Blogger Bobita said…

    Incredible post.

    I dropped off my oldest boy at school a few weeks ago, as I left the building I noticed another boy. He was screaming, clinging to the fence; a teacher holding him in her arms.

    "Do you need some help?" I asked the brave, wonderful teacher. "Yes, could you get the counselor?"

    I quickly went back into the building and told the secretary to call the counselor. I waited outside with the teacher and the boy, still clinging to the fence and yelling frantically, until the counselor arrived. The counselor soothed the boy, gently took him by the arm and led him into the school.

    The teacher and I stared at one another silently. Both of us at the brink of tears.

    I can't drop off my son at school anymore without thinking about that boy. I have cried for him more times than I can count.

    I know this heavy heart of which you speak.

  • At 9:19 AM, Blogger Ms. Skywalker said…

    It is a beautiful day.

    And yet, somewhere, it's raining.

    And those of us that live with souls that wander must always pack for the weather.


  • At 11:08 PM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    we are all one. and i think i know what you are saying - how can i be comfortable if you are not? feel joy if you can't?

    we can't. it's that simple. let me know about the acting, sister. am with you.

  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger Sarahviz said…

    Your words are so wise, so colorful, so true.


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