Sunday, June 10, 2012
I decided to spend a fortnight with the kids. They were in fits the moment I landed. We somehow got talking about the gifts they'd received over the years and I reminded my daughter about the ride-a-cock horse she'd received at age three. "When you figured out that you tweaked one ear and it neighed...," I began, only to realise they were trying hard not to laugh at my earlier statement.
"A what?" And unable to hold it in any longer, they were in splits. I know the nuances that phrase is associated with nowadays kids but it was different in our days. Read the poem attached to the following image and thank goodness for the internet.
Also, they were in heaven as I'd decided to take our dog, who they were literally brought up with and missed like crazy, along.
After unpacking I was planning to put my toothbrush in the bathroom when I noticed one exactly like mine. Just so they wouldn't get mixed up I took mine back to my room which my son had kindly vacated for me. The fun began when I told him, "I think you have the exact same toothbrush in that glass so I took mine back to my room.
"What? I don't even have a toothbrush."
I searched his face to see if he was pulling his mom's leg. He sensed the unnatural silence and looked at me. "What?" he was responding to the carefully concealed alarm in my face.
"Why don't you have a toothbrush? Don't you brush your teeth?" And with total illogic and in a moment of panic a thought hit my mind with lightening speed, "My God," I blurted out, "has someone knocked all your teeth out so you don't have any to brush? Are you hurting?"
The kids were in hysterics again. Gulping for air my son blurted out, "Mummy, how does that brain of yours work?" I don't have a toothbrush so someone must have knocked my teeth out! I simply don't have a toothbrush in that glass in the bathroom. The one exactly like yours is not mine. I have an electric toothbrush."
Much relieved and a tiny bit embarrassed, I joined in the laughter.
Later, my psychologist son probed at my illogical fears a bit more. Well, the truth is, there are a few right wingers, white, yellow, brown, black or any colour - people who believe they were "here" (in any part of the world) before the rest of us and so, just for being "different" and not originally from "here", we owe them a living. Given the chance, these roughnecks would beat us to a pulp in an instant.
They are but a handful. On the whole, people are busy living, trying to be as happy as possible, also kindly and warm towards their fellow human beings. Over here in NZ, I've seen people in cars on quieter roads graciously stop for pedestrians, not because they have to at a pedestrian crossing but simply because they have a built in, kindly graciousness. There's no "me-first-and -damn-the-rest" aggression in their faces.
Yet our paranoia persists. Why this fear? Is it illogical? Do we often need to remind ourselves that roughnecks are but a handful? Also, should that fact make us less afraid?
Here's an excerpt from "Never Mind Yaar" that gives us an insight into why some people feel threatened and what their paranoia leads to instead of amused laughter.
I feel it is important to know why they feel threatened in the first place before we begin thinking of solutions as empathy and understanding lead to more practical solutions than just fear and anger.
As for my kids, I am much reassured after a fortnight with them that they have many good friends from a variety of backgrounds and enjoy foods from different cultures. I am thankful that their sense of the absurd and the ridiculous still remains unchanged. And as for my paranoia, I make a conscious effort to push it away and fill my mind with happier thoughts whenever I feel an attack coming on.
The link again - Why Some People Feel Threatened By Others