Friday, March 25, 2005

an implement for good...

okay, let me start by saying that yes, i realize i have not written lately. between being up off and on all night with auraly infected no. 2, and spending five hours a night lost in lakewood (though not so much lost anymore as rushing around trying to get people their pizzas in a timely manner that would ostensibly get me more tips) and cleaning and rushing around to appointments for the kids, i've had to use my spare energy for keeping my eyelids up.

but today i have something i want to share. but before i do, i need to explain two things: first, when i lived in the apartment still, no. 1 bolted on me once. it had been a long night, and at midday both the boys were taking naps, so i laid down to take a nap also, thinking that no. 1 would come in and wake me up when he woke up.

instead i woke up to banging on the door, and looked out the peephole to see no. 1 in his pj's in the arms of a couple ladies that i didn't know personally but had seen around the complex.

you might imagine the course of icy cold possibilities that went shooting through my heart and mind simultaneously upon seeing my child on the wrong side of the door.

second: i was raised in a conservative christian religion. i believe in god, or some sort of supreme force that looks out after us. i feel it watched out over no. 2 during the hospital stay (see the saga of nos. 1 and 2), and i believe it watched over no. 1 on his little field trip while i was napping. in the past several years, i have not attended any church regularly, and i feel that, to quote the mission uk, "i still believe in god, but god no longer believes in me." or to put it more precisely, god still watches over me and mine, and i still try to give him props when i feel his influence in my life, but mostly we leave each other alone.

today started off as an absolutely gorgeous day, and i felt a burning need to put the boys in the stroller and go for a walk as soon as no. 1 got home from school. not a few minutes later, not after lunch, but wham bang after. so i wake no. 2 up (yes he was sleeping) and we start out on our walk. a block into it, we come across a little downs syndrome boy. he's maybe four, wandering happily aimlessly around, without any sign of adult supervision.

"alarm bells are ringing, willy" this is not right. this kid shouldn't be out here like this. i say hi, he says hi. i say "where's your mom?" and get no discernable reply. i say "where's your house?" and he points in the opposite direction. so we head that way. but he changes his mind, and wants to walk some other way. by dumb luck, (or more like divine intervention) we end up back by my house, and i run in to grab the cell phone.

we're still wandering, and now i am shite-sure that this kid has bolted, that his parents have no fucking clue where he is, and that he hasn't the foggiest where his house is. so i call my wife, and have her call the police on base. i'm trying to keep close tabs on claude rains, cause he is crossing streets with complete disregard for crosswalks or potential traffic. it occurs to me that i would leave my own children on the sidewalk and risk life and limb to remove this child from the path of oncoming traffic. the funny thing is that this realization is not in the slightest odd to me.

i hear someone call a name, and turn around. this is his mom, without a doubt. how do i know? cause her face looks like my face felt when i saw no. 1 in the arms of strange ladies through my peephole when i was convinced he was in bed. she says "his dad forgot to latch the door" and i nod knowingly. lady, believe me, i know every fucking thing you are experiencing right now, and it's not even like you have to explain it to me.

so houdini gets home safely, and his distraught parents can smoke a cig or drink a shot or offer prayers of thanksgiving or whatever they do to destress. i continue my walk (after calling my wife and telling her not to call the cops). and i feel, suddenly, compelled to offer my own prayer of thanks. thanks to god that he could use me to help some family as he has helped mine. thanks that i'm wrong when i say "god no longer believes in me". oh, he believes in me alright, and apparently our lines of communication are not as clogged as i had previously thought.

no, i'm not going to rush out and take communion, or light candles, or reread the bible at a gulp, or find some local gospel choir to join. but it's nice to know that the line is still there. that god is like a good dad who is letting me do my own thing and only stepping in when i really need the help. and that he's proud of me when i do something deserving.

so there are three points to this story, i think: 1) don't judge. it might've been easy for me to think of these parents as shitty parents if the same thing had not occured to me. we're just human. we're not superman, and occasionally things happen to even the best of parents. but on the flipside, i don't look like your average good samaritan. shit, for that matter i don't really usually act like a good samaritan. god sends help from all sides, and sometimes, to test us, he uses someone we would normally look down our noses at. you don't have to be evangelical or pentecostal to be moral, and do good works among those with whom you come in contact.

2) be open to the influence of the divine, heavenly, good, moral or whatever word best represents your own personal beliefs of how things work universally. like the bumper sticker says, "do random acts of kindness".

and 3) well, okay, maybe it was only two points. i don't know. whatever. it is also important to note here that i am not trying to convince anyone to accept god, or religion, or whatever. i am also not trying to set myself up as some glowing example of goodness. if you have read any of my other posts, then you know that that is a load of shit. i am just a guy trying to do the right thing, and mostly fucking it up. i also didn't intend to be preachy, though i am sure that's exactly how i sound. sorry, just trying to share a personal experience, and what i think i gained from it. if i could get preachy with anyone as a result of this experience, it would be the christian fundamentalists who like to look down their noses at parents like myself, cause it may be your kid i help out next.

and, as always, i have waxed lyrical to an overabundant extent, so i will sign off.

darth sardonic


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