WIth a Carnival in the Backyard


I woke up today after fighting with sleep a little bit in just a horrible moods. Moods are terrible things especially when you have bad ones and especially if you’re me because a lot of the time you don’t have control over them like “normal” people do. I slept through church and woke up feeling like I had a hangover of sorts. Except I don’t drink so that’s out of the question. It was as if everything was being pressed down from the top and all the garbage in my life was just oozing out around the edges and over the top.

I felt like garbage.

When my mind goes on these little tirades where images and thoughts fly faster than logic can I have to somehow center myself again and I haven’t found a cure-all. Not yet, anyway. I have finals next week I figure it’s from stress so I sit down and study, hoping the focus will stop the madness. It worked for a little while but my mind kept drifting off into other things, other activities and other people.

I think about other people a lot. None of you know who you are except maybe one but you’re up there.

Especially when depression hits.

Kids are small. I think that’s why everyone finds them amusing: they’re miniature versions of people. I think God designed them that way so we wouldn’t be inclined to leave them outside on a leash or give them names like “Treasure”… for the most part. Probably so parents could see themselves in their kids and know that they were part in making that. That and I’m sure that no woman would feel good about giving birth to a fully grown man in a suit with a briefcase included or in coveralls and a toolbox. Their temporary size affords them then the growth process and the good and bad things that make them who they are.

This temporary small stature also makes them very lightweight. This is why you will see moms and dads lovingly throwing their kids in the air and catching them (hopefully), spinning them around and bouncing them up and down. Kids like motion. They like it when you drop them from the heights of your shoulders almost crashing them to the ground, catching them just in time. I saw this when my little brother (who is no longer little at age 20) was playing with my newly adopted little brother (still little at 2). The smile on his face as he was being paraded around the room on his older brother’s shoulders was amazing.

Baby teeth do not obscure the view of the back of the throat when someone that size laughs hysterically.

I think about this and I wonder about that love of the motion of someone’s arms in complete control and having complete trust that they will catch you when you fall. At 27, nearing the completion of my bachelor’s degree and the possibility of graduate studies looming in the distance, I can’t even conceive of something like that happening now. I’m taller than both my parents and neither of them could pick me up if they tried.

So I think of carnival rides.

The concept is nearly the same except that the arms around you is a four point harness that raps around you. You get tossed this way and that and you forget everything for the entirety of the ride. No one thinks about the paper they have due or the bills they have to pay on a roller coaster. Some of us are even content to sit on a merry-go-round in a park while someone grabs on and runs as fast as they can to get it spinning. It’s a love I don’t think any child outgrows. The blandest of parents still bounces their child on their knees.

That’s why we have different kinds of friends who like different things. They pull us in different directions and tell us about new things and things they’re passionate about or hate. God grows us in to people who long for those metaphorical vertical jumps and rapid pulls in different directions and those arms who will hold you tight when you can’t because things are just too big for us.

Some of us still need a carnival in our backyard.


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