Here’s the song reference.
Thank you to everyone who offered prayers for our family. Everyone we know made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed, and for that we are grateful to all of you and to our merciful Lord.
Our daughters learned the meaning of “head-on collision” this evening. Daddy was on his way home from work, which sent Bugaboo, Beanie, and Mr. Man scampering to pick up toys so Daddy wouldn’t come home to a humongous mess. Baby Guy was cheerfully wrestling his way through a diaper change when he realized that his sippy cup was nowhere within reach, most distressing to a toddler who finds himself in sudden, urgent need of a swig of milk. I quickly dispatched Beanie to the living room to retrieve the missing beverage, and she sped out of the girls’ room at top speed to oblige. Unfortunately, Bugaboo happened to be entering through the same door Beanie was exiting at that moment, also at top speed, with a handful of fairies.
Just as the weeping, wailing, and blaming of siblings began, Daddy came through the front door. He paused to listen to the commotion for a moment before commenting, “Gee, if you’re that happy to see me, I’ll just go back to work,” then running up the steps to see what had transpired. I was still wrangling a thoroughly uncooperative Baby Guy into a clean diaper and pleading with the kids for an explanation of what had happened in a big kid voice with big kid words. Mr. Man helpfully piped up, “Dey go BOOM!” as Bugaboo wailed that Beanie had hit her and Beanie wailed that Bugaboo had hit her.
Eventually we got it all sorted out, and two dish towels full of ice were applied to two goose-egg-sprouting foreheads. We have concluded that Beanie’s head is harder than Bugaboo’s, which will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog. Twenty minutes later, after we had tucked two protesting little boys into their cozy beds, two much-recovered little girls were ensconced at the kitchen table, coloring fuzzy Halloween stickers for a banner project tomorrow. If you’re curious, our schoolwork tomorrow will consist of roasting pumpkin seeds, measuring by quarter-cups so they can be put in snack sized bags, making a giant door decoration to welcome trick-or-treaters, and finishing the illustrated classics version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I’ll sneak in a little penmanship on the door decoration.
Shortly before the collision, the tribe and I were snuggled up in the living room for story time. Bugaboo found Mr. Man’s copy of “The Amazing Spider-Man (World of Reading Level 1 edition),” much to everyone’s delight. As I started to read it, it struck me that Peter Parker lived in Queens, a part of New York that I’ve read was hit fairly hard by last night’s storm. That got me thinking about all the political ads I’ve seen during this election cycle, each of which attempts to divide people into groups and present a given candidate as some sort of superhero to that group, usually by “standing up” to some other group.
You know, I never heard of Spider-Man asking someone about ethnic background, religious affiliation, economic status, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, or political party. Something tells me that the emergency responders in New England aren’t asking about those things, either. They see someone in danger, in trouble, in pain, and offer what help they have to give. There’s no blaming someone else for the problem, there’s no waiting to see if there’s some other program or agency that could solve the person’s problem — there is a simple recognition of, and response to, a human need.
Frankly, when it comes to who I want my children to look to as examples, I’d rather they saw Spider-Man, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and members of all the other emergency response agencies, real and fictional, as their role models than almost anyone running for office this year. Those people’s faces look more like Jesus to me than any of the political leaders I’ve seen giving speeches on the news. You see, they’re asking the right question, which is “what help do you need that I can give,” not “how can I pit you against your brother so I can gain power?”
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for the thick skulls that You, in Your wisdom, gave Your little blessings, and thank You for ice and the wisdom to use it to good effect to soothe injuries. Thank You for all those men and women who help without questioning what they have in common with the helped, for these beautiful reflections of Your face You have placed in our midst. Thank You for the generous friend who, though he is horrified by so many things I believe, was Your face this morning when he called and offered help to my family. Please help me teach Your blessings that the things that divide us are of our own making, and that when a call for help goes out, You bless those who answer that call without inquiring what they have in common with the caller. Help me teach them that You alone are perfect, and that the rest of us need to help each other along the way in order to find You. We who believe in You must live what we believe, and You will bear us up and give us the grace we need. Please kindle in the hearts of my family and my readers a steadfast love for Your law, and for our neighbors.