Sunday, August 21, 2011

Real Alarm

We went to the children's museum and visited the fire truck exhibit.  

They had a real fire truck and a mannequin in real firefighting gear holding a real hose nozzle.  It was fun to watch Landon and his cousins enjoy pretending to be real firefighters: dressing up in gear, sitting at the steering wheel, or posing with the firefighter.

While we were waiting for them, my sister showed me this sign on the wall and I started to laugh: 

Everything is so hands-on and interactive at the children's museum.  This locked box and sign made me wonder if they had learned a lesson the hard way about fire alarms in the same room as the fire truck exhibit..

 I wish I had a space where I could store my alarm for real emergencies only. There can be a lot of alarm floating around in my life sometimes.  I usually call it worry (or concern), though.

I worry about what will or won't happen.  I worry about what I won't measure up to or what I'll be too afraid to ever try.  I feel alarm if I think something is wrong with Landon, and then I feel alarm that I won't catch it, and then I feel alarm that I'm being too paranoid, and then back to alarm that I'm not paying close enough attention.
I feel alarm when I watch Landon play on the playground and attempt things that look way beyond his physical abilities.  And then I worry that by preventing him from trying things beyond his abilities (and consequently injuring himself), he'll never actually learn what his own limits are--making him increasingly reckless and lacking good judgement.

It feels silly just writing it all out.  But this randomized, unproductive worry still floats in and steals my peace sometimes.

So I wish I had a store of it somewhere, in a place relatively difficult to access emotionally: real alarm for a real emergency only.

And then I wish that life would present itself so unambiguously that I would never even need ask myself, "Is this worth worrying about?"
The signs would be clear, I'd have my little box of genuine alarm, and the emergency would receive the proper amount of it that it deserved.

The rest of the time, I'd love to be in the moment.  Present and attentive, full of as much wonder and excitement as Landon was at the museum.

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