Have We Eyes To See?


We watched a little Teen Titans Go tonight while the kid ate pizza. Nothing for me, because I’m fat with holiday weight, but it was a fundraising night for school and the kid drew a pizza box at the place so we had to order and request the box. The rest of it is going in the freezer instead of down my gullet.

I had to tell him those four episodes are the last TTG for a while because I had to downgrade the cable. “Why?” he whined. I said it had gotten really expensive, and my rent is going up 40 a month and it just had to go, like the satellite radio, these are decisions I make, and we will live. I told him I’ve requested some more things from the library and there will be things to watch, and also stuff I can download to watch on the computer for free.

He was overly dramatic and whiny and left a bunch of candy wrappers and his crap on the floor. I made him clean it all up and we went up to the office to put yet more money on the laundry card so I could do laundry tonight. I don’t love this whiny attitude, which always lasts a good 48 hours after he leaves his Dad’s place, where there’s a sugar river and everything is as he wants it whenever he wants it.

So I said ok, we’re done watching this, I’m going to exercise on the mat and watch one of my shows. “Which one?” he said. “60 Minutes” I said. He knows this is “boring” news crap and usually goes in the other room if I turn it on, or plays with things that are loud and annoying to show me his displeasure.

The lead story was on Aleppo’s “white helmets,” the rescue workers performing miracles all day, every day. Targets themselves, they are sometimes attacked a second time when in the midst of rescuing people. I knew it would be grisly. It started out with homes being bombed. I paused it and said maybe I should watch this without him and he said no, he wanted to see it.

Judge all you want. We watched it. He couldn’t believe the little boys, one after another, being pulled from the rubble and concrete disintegrated by bombs. Covered in blood sometimes. Babies crying. Sometimes, not crying like they were supposed to. “Is that boy with the eyes open dead, Mom?” Yes, I said. It’s a war.

He wanted to see it. he wanted me to show him on the globe where Syria is, so I did.

A guy came on to talk about it and they said his last name and I paused it. “That was the same last name as the doctor who delivered you, who took you out of my stomach when you were born,” I said. “Was he from over there?” he said. I said yes, and then I googled a picture of him to show him the nice man who had taken such good care of my high-risk, complicated pregnant ass those tense nine months. “How did he get here?” he asked. We speculated on that, and then talked about why others can’t leave. They are not doctors. The Cleveland Clinic will not pay for them to come and join their staff.

He wanted it to know if it was like the war George Washington was in and so we talked about war a little bit. I’m not the world’s greatest history expert but I told him what I know, without going into too much detail. We talked about Washington and England and Kings and he offered up how a king isn’t like a President. “If they tell you to read a certain book or play with dolls, you have to do it,” he said. I didn’t argue. That’s a good enough understanding for now.

A woman came on with a hijab and they showed footage of her baby being rescued, it was a miracle. The baby only a few days old. They showed her and the baby, now two years later and she talked a little. The man who rescued the baby, they showed a picture of him with the infant at the time of rescue, smiling. Also a father of two, he is now dead. The woman’s husband and her other child are also now both dead. I paused it and asked him if he knew anything about the woman’s headscarf and he said it was African and it has to do with God or something, so we talked about that a bit, and how to handle that, particularly with our neighbors, many of whom are Hindu and Muslim.

So, I said. When you complain about this or that or the meal not being right or how I’m not fair or whatever your problem is, know how lucky you are, and I am, that nobody is dropping bombs on our homes like those people, or on the homes of our friends.

He was pretty casual about the whole thing, but outside of the episode where they interviewed the McIlheney company about their hot sauce, this is the first 60 Minutes segment that’s kept his attention. I suppose I’ll get flak for him being too young to watch something like that. But I’m the mommy.



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