Monday, June 16, 2008

The End of the World

The world ended last Sunday. You may not have noticed it, but my little boy definitely did. We were at the Leamington Peace Festival, and I had just got Alex a balloon. I looked away for a moment, and then it happened.

“My balloon,” he said. I looked around, but it was already too late. I looked up, and there it was – drifting upwards into the sky. I turned back to him. You could see it in his face – he couldn’t speak, it was quite simply the end of the world. I can still see it now, his poor face dissolving into tears as he realizes that even his wonderful dad is not going to be able to get his balloon back.

Of course, life goes on. I gave him a big hug, and the lovely woman at the stall gave him another balloon. And then everything was ok. But at the time, from his reaction, it really was the end of the world. I’ve never seen him looking so upset.

It must be really hard being so sensitive. It’s certainly really hard being around someone who’s so sensitive! But then, after all of that, what did it take to make things ok – nothing more than a balloon, which this time his dad tied to his wrist. If only I’d done that in the first place …

I could draw out a lesson here about being childlike, and how great it is when everything’s that simple. But things aren’t that simple. I was lying in bed the other night fretting about one or two problems in my life, and then I thought about food prices and what that means to someone who is really poor – poorer than I’ve ever been. I’m not going to pretend my son’s childlike attitude has anything to bring to people who are unable even to buy food to eat.

But it did strike me that really, my life isn’t so bad – not compared to lots of other people. That doesn’t make my problems any smaller. But sometimes by getting them out of proportion, I do make them bigger.


Post a Comment

<< Home