… on anticipating monsters (and not)


Monster in My Own Back Yard!

On Friday, JoHn and I had a date day – a real date day – for the first time in a very long time because other life things have had us talking about (and bobbing and weaving and acting on) very serious things as of late.

As a matter of fact, we almost did not go and see the movie because at midnight on Thursday I was in the E.R.



We had gotten a text from Self-Proclaimed-Perfect-Boy Gabe, as he was leaving Big-Boy Soccer Practice (he is 16) and all it said was, “Rolled ankle bad. Get Ice ready.”


So he got home and it turns out that “rolled-ankle-bad-get-ice-ready” is really code for “Holy fluck!”.


Okay, you saw that warning right? Okay…

gabe foot

Big Boy wHoops

So on Thursday night we were in the ER.

And by first thing Friday morning – when the radiologist had the time to read his film – we had the skinny on what happened, which is that his ankle is not badly sprained but sort of broken.

I say ‘sort of’ because what happened is that the ligaments and tendons that normally get all hinky in a sprain? They held. But…

(Did you notice that ‘but’? Did it feel ominous? Okay that is because it was. So if you are squeamish do not read the next paragraph. Just skip it and go to the one after that and you should be fine…(Okay, wHip you eyes right past the next paragraph…now!)

…. but they held so well that they just yanked pieces of bone off of the rest to the bone, which is called an avulsion fracture (and I must once again note how freakin’ educational this blog is and maybe it should be up for some sort of PBS award. With, like, Sesame Street).

So now Gabe is in a big (for his size 15 foot!) giant plastic boot when he moves around and he has crutches and he will go and visit the ortho again in a couple of weeks.  This puts his dreams of playing in college on a bit of a convoluted path, because he can’t show the coaches his soccer stuff at the whizzy recruiting camps that they’ve invited him to this summer.

And, though these are not my dreams, I have the genetic, survival-of-the-species mommy-tethers to his heart (and heartaches) because he is my kid.

So I am helping him battling a monster.

The Dreamscuttleasaurus.

A real bastard.

And he has my kid in his sights.

I feel like JoHn and I have been battling a lot of monsters over the past eight or nine weeks.  We’ve seen the Nearfatalaccidentasaurus, the Illnessofbelovedpetasaurus, Cometotheemergencyroomquickasaurus (several of those) Tragicdeathofpetasaurus, Hospitalizationoffamilymemberasaurus, Sayinggoodbyetooldyankeemanasaurus,

That’s a lot of asauruses.

Which is what I was thinking about while I was watching Jurassic World on Friday afternoon.

Well, it didn’t start out that way.

It started out with me and JoHn sitting in a darkened movie theatre, with popcorn – salted and buttered to the point of ecstasy – and laughing at the fact that this was our first ‘date date’ in a long time because of everything that’s happened. There was also an overriding, as there has been over the past several weeks, ‘can this all really be happening?’ vibe.

This movie was exactly what we needed.

No deep thoughts required.  Just great special effects…. and monsters.


Oh, I said that no deep thoughts were required.

Dude.  I write a blog called Just Ponderin’.

So I’m sitting there and watching humans running through forests, on high alert, expecting monsters around every corner…

Monsters that are big, and easily seen.

Monsters that are smaller, harder to see.

Huge, totally deadly monsters that can camouflage themselves – absolutely unseeable, even when they are ten feet in front of you.

And I found myself watching these poor humans (okay, highly-paid actors), who were exhausted, not just when they were dealing with the monsters they could see…

But because they were anticipating the monsters that might be.

What might be around the next corner…

Behind the next tree…

And I am telling you, these people were not thinking that they were going to be tip-toeing around an abandoned building to find a pile of puppies.

They had seen the worst, and they were expecting the worst.

A friend of mine recently pointed out that I’d been dealing with a lot recently and wondered – empathetically and lovingly – if I was all hunkered down, worried about what might be next.

I laughed.

No way.

I am not about worrying about the monsters.

The things that could be lurking out there, the bad stuff I can’t see.

I cannot imagine a life of peeking around corners…

Peering into dark shadows…

Expecting bad stuff.

Maybe even the worst stuff.

A life of fear.

I have seen enough monsters – real ones – to amass an arsenal of useful weaponry, should I need it.  A customizable and lethal combination of endurance, google-ability, empathy, reflection, and wit.  All of which I will happily tap into for a friend in need as well.

But when making my way through a dark and thorny thicket?

I am telling you, I am looking for – and expect to find – a secret garden, or a beautiful meadow.

Around the bend of a lonely path?

The welcome surprise of a new friend.

And into the darkest spaces?

Rays of light.

And you might be surprised to know how often all of these things happen, in real life, and all the time.

But I’m not.


Thanks for readin’.


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