We Are All in Pain Together

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. Our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect us and our music. Recent insights:

It was a heartbreaking drive home yesterday...

First, I witnessed a misplaced show of righteousness aka aggression. Two couples--late 50s, affluent white people--set out to cross Mass Ave. They were probably on their way to a nice meal out. They began their journey through the crosswalk. Oops: one car didn't quite yield appropriately and almost cut off the well-heeled pedestrians.

One of the women walkers yelled at the car, which had begun slowing, realizing the mistake. THEN one of the men approached the passenger's side of the car. Suddenly he was screaming at the people in the car and hitting their roof. The car began inching forward and the man ran after it! He keyed the side of their car as they drove away. Yikes!

At the next stoplight I pulled up alongside the scraped car and rolled down my window. Two elderly Chinese people looked at me and said, "sorry, we make mistake!!!" I asked them if they were all right, telling them I'd seen everything. They told me I was a good little girl and it will all be okay.

A mile down the road I saw a woman running. She looked strong and also really tired. I smiled, remembering that over the weekend I ran with my friend Paula. We'd decided to each run for 15 minutes at our own pace, then turn around and meet up. I ran a bit ahead--ooh, I really wanted to reach the zoo before turning around! It took me more like 16+ minutes. And now I had to turn around and make up my time. It was a real stretch, and I was tired by the end. I felt the running woman's pain... and I wished her a great finish to her run.

A few blocks later I saw another runner. She was waiting to cross the road and looked so strong and joyous. It took me a few moments before I noticed her one prosthetic leg. When the light changed and I watched her start up, I saw her uneven stride, not like the smooth Olympic running I'd seen with artificial limbs. But no strain or discomfort registered on her face. I hope to channel some of her power on my next run.

To cap off a real gut ripping commute, my friend Eric Merrill's version of "Boston Blue-Eyed Boy" came on during the final minutes of my drive home. The soundtrack to my sorrows this afternoon.

When I told my family about what I'd seen, my son grabbed a piece of paper and wrote D. "Mom, the guy who scratched the car TOTALLY gets a Demerit."

Yeah, we really don't win when we lash out. But it's hard not to vent and rage sometimes, when the world is getting us all down. Hang in there, gang. Let's do our best this week and aim for some gold stars...

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