Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the limits of tenderness

My friend and long-ago shrink, Jack Gallahue, once commented gently, "If a man punches you in the stomach, you don't ask if he lives in a rat-infested apartment."

In Georgia (USA), a six-year-old girl kindergartner was handcuffed by police after she threw a tantrum. No one is apologizing.

In my neck of the woods, an area top-heavy with shrinks and pinch-pottery, I can imagine such an event arousing a dismay second only to the up-coming war in Iran.

Children are sweet. Children are innocent. Children deserve a nourishing and safe environment. It is harder (and harder still because it is harder) to admit that children have their less than angelic moments.

How many aspects of life are like that ... so much adored or so much despised that the full and ranging facts are held at bay?

Me, me, me ... I return again to the useful line: Get over yourself.

It puts me in mind of the old joke about the mom in the checkout line when her child has a conniption fit in hopes of getting a candy bar. The mom looks at her child and says evenly, "What are the magic words?" The child stops caterwauling long enough to respond, "You're thin and you're beautiful."

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