Sunday, April 4, 2010

Perspective

Thanks for the suggestions so far, for a company name. Keep them coming if you think of more!!! I'm still percolating, with everyone's ideas (I may have vetoed Fn SMel's for obvious reasons) and am SO grateful, because I really didn't know where to start. So great!

Yesterday I had my first taste of really feeling like a girl lost in a forest of boy. Since my plethora of boys was born I've never been anything but surprised by how FUN it is having boys! Fart jokes and burping and penis fiddling (which starts at like 6 months) and wrestling and climbing and boy NOISE (including the vehicle noises and the animal noises and the 'I'm about to leap on you with only a nanosecond of warning and no concern for your welfare' noises, and the just general loud kid play noises) don't bother me. I often join in! I like having kids I can playfully smack upside the head or shove into a snowbank and get a squeal of laughter out of 99.9% of the time. I can fart better than most men, and think it's hilarious. BUT. I'm still a girl. And yesterday, nobody seemed to understand that I had had enough teasing. My buttons were being pushed and being pushed and when I tried to communicate that I had had enough, that communication was viewed as the revealing of another button to push. You know what I mean? Like in elementary school--or high school, for that matter--when boys kept teasing and teasing relentlessly even when you started crying? Yesterday was like that. And yes, Brent was in on the action. I had some foreshadowing of life with three teenaged boys, egged on by their father. Jeepers. Like sometimes it would just be nice to have someone UNDERSTAND! Someone to go to the spa with. Or shop for shoes with. Or get free hugs from without having to bribe or 'trade' for them (as in, I will use the scissors to cut this scrap of fabric you asked me to cut if you hug me first). Someone who would want to play My Little Ponies instead of Light Sabre Death Destroyers, or maybe brush my hair and tell me I'm pretty.

My niece puts chapstick on her face like it's makeup--on her eyes, lips, cheeks, etc--SO CUTE! One day she had an allergic reaction to the grape sparkle chapstick she had gotten as a gift, and her whole face swelled up. Oh my gosh, how cute is THAT!? But someone like that, who would *get* my girl self without much effort, would be really nice.
Anyways, it was my first real overwhelmed by boy experience. So I thought I would note it here.

Today was easter. In case you hadn't noticed. Easter is a very meaningful time of year for me, because although I grew up in the church I really count my first adult, autonomous, individual choice to follow Jesus at Easter when I was 16.. Which sounds very cliche and funny! But is so true and deep and meaningful for me. It means a lot to me that God understands experientially what it means to be human. And I'm grateful for never having felt abandoned since, despite many peaks and valleys (and valleys, and valleys!). Life shouldn't be easier. But it sure makes a difference to me to know God's love for me deeply and to feel Him walking alongside and behind me, holding me up every step of the way. I often forget important truths about God and about myself, but I don't feel alone. So, I'm happy for easter. It usually makes me cry at easter time to look back on the now many years of love and patience and walking alongside that I have experienced from God.

Today we went to Brent's parents' church so we could be together on easter, since we were all in town. Brent's brother is at RCMP depot and came home for a 36 hour visit, much like the visits I remember so clearly from when Brent was away. It tears your heart out to have to watch his kids and his wife get just a short taste of being together, and have to say goodbye again! I remember so clearly how awful that felt. I'm excited for my brother in law, though. He will make a very good cop. Brent makes a very good cop, too. The patient and compassionate yet firm and confident kind. Not the 'force is good in all situations' kind. Or, like one cop in Chilliwack whom I run into on a regular basis who seems to get a kick out of pushing the buttons of psych patients and getting them MORE riled up rather than calming a situation down. Anyways, today we went to Brent's parents' church and it was interesting because during the service the music pastor described this profound experience where they heard a scuffle in the street behind their house one night and looked out and saw a man assaulted, slump to the ground, and then about a million emergency crews show up and hang around for hours after the ambulance left, interviewing witnesses and stuff. It turns out the man was stabbed and died shortly afterwards. It was an incredible situation to witness and made him think about some existential and philosophical stuff about the state of humanity and things....
But as we were driving home afterwards I said to Brent, "Isn't it interesting how someone can witness something like that and have this profound life changing experience that really makes them ponder the meaning of life, but for people like you and I who do the work we do, a story like that is just another day on the street?" Not that we don't take death seriously, but it ceases to be an existential driving force when you live with an experiential awareness of the fragility of life because of your job. Of course this isn't a criticism of people who don't have that awareness--if you rarely saw death, particularly tragic or violent death, of course it would move you to see someone killed. In fact, that call would certainly move me if I attended it in an ambulance or saw it in my street from my window. But its impact would be different, because my context is filled with stories like that one. And I have to say that the few times I have actually watched someone die have been breathtakingly difficult. But the storytelling itself was interesting, because I was aware of the dichotomy between this being a life changing event to witness for the pastor, yet for me listening I kept waiting for the unusual information to surface, or a black joke to be made, as would happen if the story was relayed to me by another paramedic. The simple story of a man stabbed to death on a dark street sounds within the realm of normal for me, and I know so clearly that this is not the case for the man telling the story, nor for the congregation hearing it.
It's just interesting to note the isolating effect of working in emergency response, and how clearly it comes into focus when I hear stories like this one. Of course it is tragic and profound! I'm not minimizing that. But tragedy is normal for me. In fact as some of you know it can be difficult for me not to EXPECT tragedy as a natural course of life, because it is so normal to me. It takes effort for me to believe my kids will all grow up into adults. Semi normal, healthy adults without drug addictions, major mental illnesses, spinal cord injuries, or early death. It takes enormous effort for me to stay in a mental space where I believe that my kids will grow up, and be healthy and intact. Fortunately, there are fish oils and B complex vitamins and St John's Wort to help me bridge the gap between my skewed perspective and statistical probablility!! :D These are my Prozac.
Such is life!


2 comments:

Louise and Gary Chapman said...

1. I think of you daily when I am surrounded by my boy-ness. Seriously. Same thing here. They better be nice to me when they are teenagers. They better talk to me. When I see how Gary is with his mom (he never calls her unless I tell him to over and over) it does make me a bit sad.

2. I completely understand how an experience that is so life changing for someone might just be `normal' for you. For example, when someone gets cancer or someone has a heart attack, I do think it's sad, but it's not `life changing' for me anymore. Been there. Processed that. Death of a young mom, dad or kid gets me the life changing way though. Don't mean to belittle anything, but I do understand what you are saying in my own way.

3. Good thing we're not girly girls eh? Maybe Ayden would like a trip to the spa?

ms emili louann said...

boys are a lot of fun! even with mine so young, it's fun... not as much drama :)

xoxo