Sunday, October 13, 2013

So, Eeyore, Bootsy Collins and Charles Bronson walk into your childhood...

Good morrow, gentlefolk!

Verily we have arrived at page 24 of "Saturday" the book.

It just so happens to be Saturday afternoon in the world of India McGreevy and her parents.  The Saturday after a long, grinding week.  And while India is outside inadvertently stumbling into some odd situations, her parents Fred and Elizabeth are inside, trying to figure out how to help India out of her funk (the Eeyore kind, not the Bootsy Collins kind):

Being a kid can feel pretty lonely at times.  There's a theory that, behind the wholesome jokes and foibles of "Peanuts", the comic is often a commentary on the alienation of childhood (which is possibly why all the grownups sound like a trumpet when they speak).  When you're a kid, it can feel like no one is listening and no one understands.  Adults might as well be from another planet because they're so much older they can't possibly understand what it's like to be a kid.

This turns out to be untrue.  Usually, they know, even if it's been a while since your parents' days of failed football kicking and amateur Psychiatry (Also, spoiler alert, adults aren't immune to those feelings of loneliness and alienation, they just have to put up with it and keep going).  But your parents?  They're sharper than you give them credit for.  And they know when you're feeling down.  They may not always know how, but trust me: They're trying to figure out how to get you from Eeyore to Bootsy, quick, fast, and in a hurry.

I think one of the amazing things about being a kid is that you often don't see how much work it takes to do things.  Whether it's getting dinner on the table, keeping the house clean, paying the bills or figuring out how to cheer you up, your parents are like a couple of MacGyvers, constantly improvising and trouble shooting and using what they have to get things done.  As a kid, you're more like an audience member, so you can just enjoy the show.

Who put it better than Charles Bronson in "The Magnificent Seven"?  Nobody:

"Don’t you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun; well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery."

This goes for Mothers, too.  So the moral is: Your parents understand you better than you think they do.  Even if you're a bit strange.


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