Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The biggest little worrywart
Today we had a little boy in the chair; maybe he was 8 years old. I forget.
He was so frightened of the needle, if he had actually needed one we would probably have used the nitrous oxide. That generally works wonders.
I tried to distract him by engaging him in conversation, as he waited. The easiest topic today was the weather since we were getting more snow that, of course, melted as it hit the ground during the day. Well, this poor 8-year old: he had heard on the radio that this cold weather and snowing was most certainly a sign of the world practically coming to an end.
What a load to carry, needing a needle and the world coming to an end!
But this incident reminded me instantly of various childhood scares. When we were young we heard too much about world wars and of communist atrocities and potential nuclear holocausts. Then, when we lived in North America, we had Dr. Colticott with "If you love this planet." I don't remember how many teachers thought we should watch that in school. Then my own children. I don't know how many times Stefan was shown "An inconvenient truth" in school, in church youthgroup... Is this how every teacher is hip and relevant by scaring the wits out of children? What's the way around this?
I just told this boy, that they have been talking about the world coming to an end ever since I was a little girl and it has not ended yet (and see how old I look). In fact, he was pretty safe today. He did not need a needle and the world has not come to an end as of 9:00 pm, so far.
If I were his parent and had more time with him, of course, I would handle it differently. I like C.S. Lewis' reassurance. God will give you the strength you need when the time comes. You don't need it now. You don't even know what you need. But it will be there.
Or my Dad, who could be quite hilarious, would say: "Erstens kommt es anders, zweitens als man denkt." Which means: first of all, it comes differently, secondly, than you think. Which was just a strange way of saying things always turn out differently than anticipated.
The other saying he had was that the exact thing we fear seldom comes to pass, but something else will. This is actually comforting in the sense that many of the things we fear don't actually happen. My dad was a great guy, always gentle and a bon vivant. (His other favorite saying was: "Besser gut gelebt und doppelt so lange."-- Better live well and twice as long!")