I am going crazy today. What is it about the human mind that makes it possible to be utterly committed to turning over a new leaf on one day and than chuck it all the next day? On Tuesday, San Francisco experienced one of those tragic events that puts your life and priorities in perspective. Some random ordinary Joe lost his ever-loving mind and started running down people all over the city, with carnage focused in my general neighborhood. Just moments before walking into the gym like I do every single day, deranged lunatic X ran down a pedestrian on the sidewalk right by the front door. As I approached the entrance, I saw groups of people talking excitedly and blood on the sidewalk carelessly covered up with a white sheet. There was a mangled bicycle a few feet away. I listened to the stories being passed around. My friend at the newspaper called me worried. A the gym I worked out harder than usual in the event I might have to take evasive action, pick up Noah and throw ourselves out of the way of some psycho.
They apprehended the man a few blocks away at the Walgreen’s store, another place my three year old and I walk to or past every day. The atmosphere around the store was still chaotic. News crews from every major and obscure news station in town were set up around crowds of police and other law enforcement agents. The centerpiece of this scene was the murder weapon, a black Honda pilot. It lay in the middle of the street looking defeated with its’ windshield (and many other parts of its anatomy) smashed in. I stood for a while listening to the people talk to the cops and ask questions of each other. I picked up my groceries, went home and hugged my son very tightly for a very long time. Even aside from this tragedy, the day was strange and sad. I vowed, as I have vowed countless times in the past, to remember the important things in life, not to lose my temper with Noah or feel easily overwhelmed by single motherhood. So what? So, he gets to his playgroup late? So what if I can’t force him to eat a green vegetable. Suddenly what seemed so important all week long wasn’t anymore. A murder rampage will really put things into perspective.
Of course after all the reprioritizing, by Thursday I had experienced a full reversal. The weightiness of the moment was lost and now, today, I find myself frustrated with my diet restrictions and impatient with Noah as he throws another tantrum (one of many lately). This tantrum business is becoming an unwelcome habit! I read once that at 3 and ½ kids combust and suddenly it is chaos and tantrums. I was trying to prepare myself for the inevitable. Wouldn’t you know it, like clockwork Noah started tantruming a few weeks ago and he turns exactly 3 and ½ this month. God help me. Even after two hours of working out this morning, I still felt my blood pressure skyrocket at the sound of shrill wailing in the backseat. What happened to my new Zen approach to life?