Space in a Chair

Bodies being carried out of rubble pop up on the TV screen.

The sounds of families wailing over the death of a loved one pour into our living room.

I look for the remote in order to quickly change the channel to more age appropriate show.

A cartoon – hell, even Jessie.

Only I can’t find the remote, of course.
My kids hungry eyes, thirsty for information, soak up this tragedy that is playing out on the screen.

I stop looking for the remote and start staring at the gruesome scene.

Those poor people.

I stand up and turn the TV off.  The way we used to when I was a kid.  Not only did I turn the TV off and on, but I could also change channels!  My Dad would sit in his chair and command, “keep going, stop,  keep going, keep going- go back!”

I digress…

By this time, the time it took me to turn back around, both kids had returned to their previously scheduled programming- Legos and dolls, respectively.

I felt like I should say something.  Something monumental that would answer any questions that they may have in their 6 and 4 year old brains that my be looming after such a horrific scene.  Something that would make them feel safe, secure, and far far away from that war torn world.   No pressure.

But it was quiet.  And no one was looking to me for that great speech – it’s a shame, I was almost finished.

I sat back down, playing a game with myself to see who would ask first about the horrible scene.

Slowly, both games, the Legos and the dolls, began to move closer to me.

It was not a conscious movement, I don’t think, but both kids were now close, playing right next to me.

I stopped thinking about what to say, how to act, ways to make everything better- how to parent.

I just sat there and took up space in a chair.  Sometimes just being there is enough.



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