On Fragility

Jul 9, 2015 | Parenting & Politics

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I’m starting a new series about things that delight, surprise, or  amuse me. They make my heart leap and remind me that life on Planet Earth is dazzling and that countless earthly and human creations –and sometimes co-creations–are worth my humble Climate Mom rescue efforts.
Everything on this page is fragile in some way.

This one isn’t fragile in obvious ways, but a geologist might say it’s vulnerable to acid rain. Or floods. Or bored teens with carving knives and spray paint.

This one is fragile in the “tourist traps suffer during recessions” way. I like it because Judy Garland got married here.

This one is fragile in that “oh, what one pebble could do” way. I survived many a Sunday sermon in my youth contemplating such stained glass, wondering how far broken glass would scatter in the event of a hurricane and, more importantly, whether it could reach my pew.

Now, imagine a child you love. You know the ways that child is fragile, beyond those universal breakdowns over dessert fantasies or BFF betrayal. You try to avoid pebbles through your child’s emotional stained glass.

Now, imagine that child’s faith in you. Both fragile and resilient, it can break over time with repeated micro-disappointments and repair with kind words and right action. Grown-ups like children’s faith in them to feel rock solid.

I do. So I try to be kind, offer homemade cookies, and confront those bullying children, either in the fist-in-face way or the cooking-the-planet-for-profit way.

I’ll enjoy today knowing the above-pictured all persists, for now. And try to earn children’s faith in me by protecting what they think is cool and worth saving.

Which, from what I can tell, is just about everything.

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