Thursday, September 4, 2014


I often find myself looking upon the expanse of my living room and feeling overwhelmed and hopeless because of the toy explosion that lays in front of my eyes.  Lately, I've been trying to change my outlook toward the small irritations of life. A few weeks ago I saw a photo somewhere, either in a magazine or in a news article, of a few young boys in a refugee camp in Iraq playing with empty cans.  The photographer asked them what they were doing and they said that they were pretending the cans were cars.  The current problems and wars and terror of life in Iraq and so many countries in the Middle East are difficult to fully absorb without falling into complete despair but that photo comes back into my mind every day, usually whenever I hear about ISIS and see the awful footage of beheadings and mass killings and sometimes when I catch Ben playing intently with his favorite toys.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about those boys and how I wish I could give each of them just one car or truck or tractor or train.  It makes me just well up with emotion when I see Ben playing with his toys and choosing a favorite to have in bed with him when he goes to sleep and thinking about what it would be like to lose everything we have and to see him and Tessa in a refugee camp, playing with whatever junk was laying around and still finding a way to have fun.  It's just wrong that he gets to have a full farm of toy tractors and equipment to match Grandpa Tim's, and the cast of the movie Cars in toy version and a train set and piles of books and a bed with Thomas sheets.  And more important, much more important, he and Tessa are safe from atrocities against them just because of their religion or where they live. (It is so much worse that what you see on the mainstream news...I knew but really realized this when I searched Google for photos of Iraqi boys in refugee camps to try to find that photo of the boys playing.)
Seriously, this is a deviation from my usual lighthearted B.S. but what would that be like?  The moms of those boys are probably the same age as me.  How would it feel to be trapped and left to die on the side of a mountain in 100 degree heat with no water or food? To witness beheadings and torture? I'm on a large local moms Facebook group with many posts a day from moms, many of who are so high strung about things that just don't really matter.  Today I saw a thread with about 20 replies about moms worrying about whether or not they could send bug spray with their kids to school because the mosquitos are bad and how the teachers want it applied in the morning before school but the day is too long and once a day isn't enough...and someone found a spider in their grapes from Walmart...and someone was mad because they had a long wait at the pediatrician's office...and when I am in a mood like I am now after seeing footage about an American being beheaded in Iraq and seeing those pictures that I just saw and can't not think about how those displaced and terrified families would love to have kids at school, eat grapes and be able to see a doctor. 
My mom recently acquired a framed Norman Rockwell poster of "The Four Freedoms".  These were painted in 1943 to represent four universal human rights that should be protected for every human. They originated in a speech by FDR in 1941. Very idealistic, and obviously not happening universally. But, somehow, I got lucky and was born in a place where I have these freedoms. 



Kari K said...

Amen my friend! Our first world problems are so silly sometimes.

Kristy said...

Nice post, puts things in perspective.