It was a long day yesterday. We left Calgary on a 7am flight to grab a connector in Vancouver at 9:30. Except… San Francisco was fogged in and our flight was delayed until noon. We boarded at about the same time we would have been arriving in San Fran if we’d been on time. Which, made me smile when we did arrive because the direct flight from Calgary to San Fran arrived in at the same time as we eventually did!
And in the end, it didn’t matter. We had a delightful driver ferry us to our hotel, a quaint B&B style, English mansion — The White Swan. We’re in the heart of it all. And loving it.
As we waited in Vancouver yesterday I watched a small drama unfold between a mother and fathere and their two daughters. The girls, aged around five and three, were hugging each other and fell over backwards. The youngest hit her head and wasn’t sure how to respond. The eldest rubbed the back of her head, hugged her and told her she was okay. It was very sweet to watch. They were so natural and loving towards each other.
Laughing, they lay on the floor, looking up at the ceiling way above. The father told them to “get up”. The mother said, “they’re fine.” The girls kept playing. Finally, the father walked over, grabbed the arm of the eldest girl and hauled her to her feet. The youngest quickly stood up, ran to her mother and hid between her legs as did the eldest. The mother looked at the father with a look of disgust and turned her back to him. He stood there looking confused and lost. What happened?
What struck me was how the dynamics of shame and fear played out in that little tableau. How the father felt unheard and while he was unnecessarily rough, it was easy to see how the roles in their family were set. How the children learn to play one parent against another – eventually the father bought both girls some candy…
We teach our children, constantly, how to be in the world. We teach them acts of love. We teach them how to fear. And, we teach them how to feel unsafe being themselves.
When we feel unheard, unseen, unknown, we act out in ways that shore up our fears against that which we fear. In watching the tableau unfold, I was struck by the power of seemingly simple gestures to affect change – in all directions.
Now, C.C. did not witness this drama. He was comfortable reading his book, not worrying about the world around him and all it’s drama. But, just before we were to disembark, I asked him what I should do with the ten dollar food voucher the airline hd given us. “you could find a young kid to give it to,” he suggested.
What a brilliant idea!
I walked over to the food court area and saw a young (late teens) boy buying a sandwich and drink. I offered him the voucher. Seriously, he asked and then quickly took it before I changed my mind.
Always thinking that C.C. He makes a difference in my world.
Blessings to all. San Fran is lovely!