Sunday, May 01, 2011

Never Knowing What the Day May Bring

Earlier today as I was watching CBS Sunday Morning, I thought I had the perfect topic for my first post of the Blogathon. There was a story about a pole dancing competition. Yep, you read that right - a pole dancing competition. May Day and pole dancing! What could be better?

All day long I contemplated the juxtaposition of the pagan maypole and pole-dancers and plotted my post accordingly. After all, this mama can dance, and dancing of any kind piques my interest.

I thought I knew exactly what I was going to write about when I sat down with the laptop this evening. Then, I turned on the news as I was making dinner and things changed - a lot of things changed. Just as they changed almost ten years ago, when I poured a cup of coffee, turned on the news and realized I had just brought a sweet baby boy into a world that I no longer recognized.

I remember standing there that morning; staring at the television with silent tears running down my face. I was eerily still. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to go pick up my three month old son and hold him tight and never let him go. I wanted to let him sleep, and hope that when he woke, I would learn this was some surreal War of the Worlds-like broadcast moment and we could go back to life as we knew it a few hours earlier.

The catch was, I had just returned to work after my maternity leave the day before. I stood; not knowing what was in store for our world that day and beyond, and realized I had to go to work. I had to bundle up my precious child, take him to daycare and go to a job that really didn't matter all that much. I was raw and vulnerable and I can still feel the sting of the tears as I pulled away from the daycare and went to work, all the while plotting my route back home to be with my baby. That was my focus.

Tonight I watched the news declare that the leader of the terrorists, who up-ended our world almost ten years ago, is dead. I stood still; watching without tears, and wondered what might happen next. Sadly, I don't think this has ended anything because it's like Newton's third law of motion - for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I watched news coverage of people partying when they heard of Bin Laden's death. I read celebratory Facebook posts from friends galore. Then, I had to explain to my nine year old son who Osama Bin Laden was and why people were celebrating that he had been shot in the head. We watched President Obama's speech - it fit the occasion.

I didn't have a good answer. I still didn't know how I felt - truthfully how I felt about the whole thing since September 11th. How I feel things has changed a lot since then, so I floundered to give him a good answer for what he saw developing on the news. I didn't need to worry though, because my son had a better answer. He said it was up to the gods what to do about him and with him. That most likely Ammit was waiting for him in the underworld, and his fate had been sealed.

I attending a memorial service for a family member on Friday - a celebration of a woman's life. This weekend I was surrounded by dancing women, celebrating the beauty in all of us. Today I watched as people celebrated a death. Don't get me wrong - I shed no tears for a man I did not know - who wreaked such havoc on the world.

I can only wait and wonder, tentatively, what the next day may bring.

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