Apples Are Not Grapes

This is a story from a few days ago. I was helping my kids get ready for school when I said it. It’s not something that doesn’t happen often but my older son’s response really made me think. I told my kids that I am giving them Apples for snack. They both looked at me with the same look of confusion and said, “No we want Grapes.” I said yes that’s what I said I’m giving you Apples. They repeated “NO MOM WE WANT GRAPES”. Then I realized I had been saying Apple instead of Grapes. I told them I meant Grapes. I though to myself how could I confuse the two fruits? Not five minutes ago I was downstairs putting Grapes in their snack boxes. They were both quiet for a bit. Then as my older one was walking out of his room he turned around and looked at me, then said very thoughtfully, “Mom how can you say Apple and mean Grapes? They are not similar at all.” Without waiting for an answer he walked away. He hasn’t asked me to explain myself since. Usually he bugs me with “Why’s” and doesn’t leave me alone until he gets an answer out of me.

However this time I have answers for him, so many answers. Grapes turn into Apples my dear son because I’m a mom. More specifically I’m your mom. You know how to ask endless questions about things that might not be important to other children. You can be stubborn about the tiniest of matters. You remember just the other day we had a 30-minute argument because you didn’t want me to hold the spoon in my hand when bringing your bowl and spoon to the table? You wanted the spoon in the bowl. I told you we’re already in the middle of breakfast now, so just eat. But you threw a fit. I didn’t know how to undo what which was already done. But you insisted to start over. But how? That’s the kind of thing that turns one fruit into another and, turns keys into pens and, makes all kinds of other miracles happen.

Interestingly, even though he drives me absolutely insane there would be no light in my life without him. Every day would be the same. I would not wake up thinking, “lets see what he thinks up today”. This is not an exaggeration. This child of mine is completely unique in the way he wants to live his life and it’s interesting to watch him go about his daily activities. I enjoy him as much as it tires me out and turns my brain to complete mush. Just yesterday I was instructed by him not to talk any of his friends’ parents. I was volunteering at his school. He said, “don’t talk to anyone just help and leave”. While I was there he said, “You’re not talking to people, right? Just help quietly.” He’s four years old in case that has escaped any of you. I have been asking him repeatedly what he is so afraid of me saying to the parents but he wont tell me. He doesn’t mind me talking to his teachers because he knows we communicate on a regular basis and he’s fine with that. If he wasn’t you can be sure I would know about it.

His school will be celebrating Spirit week all next week. They will dress up in different costumes every day. One of the days is “twin day” the idea is for two friends to dress up exactly alike. He refuses to do that because no two people are the same. He keeps saying, “But mom you said I’m unique and I shouldn’t change, I don’t want to change.” I am trying to explain to him that this is not the same as changing your personality. It is only a costume for a few hours. I’m trying to explain that…

This just means Apples sometimes literally mean Grapes. That is all.

My Bleed

I talk but I’m quiet most of the time. I don’t let the bleed of the heart come out much. I have been feeling it a lot with everything that’s going on around us. We have the ability to discuss other people’s lives and the audacity to make decisions about them like we are in charge of the world. We like to play god and then we like to play martyr in the same breath. Then when we our verdict, we sit back and watch everyone’s life crumble while we do nothing. I include myself in those people. I am not any better because I have done nothing other than contribute to the same discussion. I think sharing a few posts on Facebook is going to make it all better. The guilt inside that tells me otherwise but I tell myself; go ahead keep doing what you are doing. You are spreading the message, that is enough. I want to believe it. My comfort is more important than the suffering of others and I get comfortable in the knowledge that I informed people. I did my part for the day. I am done for today. Tomorrow is a new day.

All the while all the knowledge of everything that going wrong in the world, everyone that is hurting in the world is bleeding in my heart. I know I am not doing enough. I know that can’t be it. I know I can do more. I want to do more. I look at my children, at their peaceful faces that are not being harmed in any way. My children that are not in any immanent danger and think what if they were? What would I do? What mountain would I not climb? What ocean would I not cross? What blast would I not throw myself at to save them from? In the end if there were people who refused to help me save them what would I think of those people? What would be my emotions would I have towards those people? What would I want to do to those people if I ever got a chance? So I wonder today how much right do I have to be called a good person because I claim I care? I wonder how much of a right I have to be called a decent person because I claim I have not hurt anyone knowingly. Because hurting people is what I do everyday knowingly. There are bombs, guns and disease that kill children, their families every day while I do nothing to help. So, no I am not a good person. I do hurt people deliberately every day.