I settled into my Sunday evening with a calming sense of security that our relaxing and peaceful weekend had led us to prepare well for Monday. That everything was ready and in its place for a graceful easing into the week.
That sense of security was false.
Because, instead, we slammed into Monday. Yelling and fighting before first cups of coffee were finished, finding little bits of things undone, lunch half packed, laundry clean but wrinkled and hiding in the laundry basket. We “started the day over” several times before the day even really got started, including one time on the way to school during which we closed our eyes and pretended to be asleep so that big sister could wake us up again and start anew. I have to tell ya, it didn’t really work for me but it did give a four-year-old an incredible feeling of control over her situation and she was all smiles from there on out.
But I worked my way through the day in that way I do when emotions and family and mothering and marriage and talking, oh especially talking, are hard but words are easy when I type them or write them out and the letters sit just so, just as I intended, so I’ll stick with just making letters into words until I can gather the muster to go back to the rest.
And then on the way home, I listened to the news because my podcasts hadn’t downloaded (because, apparently, technology is hard too) and I listened to stories about the missing plane and Russia and the landslide. And I learned a lot because usually I cull headlines but don’t often delve into the news, partly by choice because news often hurts my heart. And so I just couldn’t think about that plane and the people and the families because that is hard too. And I couldn’t think about Russia because woah talk about hard. And so then there was the landslide.
And I kept trying to reduce it to simple. Eight people gone and over one hundred missing? What kind of a landslide was this? Why were there that many people on that mountain? What is happening here?
And then I learned it was a town. The hill slid into a town. Homes, cars, people, all there. On a Saturday morning. Waffle making, cartoon watching, paper reading time. Home time. And the science reporter talked of how this hill had slid before and they know, those who study these things, that once a slider, always a slider, they just don’t know when the next slide will fall.
And again, I kept trying to reduce it to simple. Why live there? Why not move? Why not make those people move? Why make your Saturday morning waffles at the bottom of an unstable hill?
And the reporter noted that the hill had slid before and they had done nothing to fix the problem. No engineering on the hill. No telling people to move. And he noted that, unfortunately, it takes situations like this one, people dying, homes crushed, to move people to action.
And it made me sad. And angry. That as a human race we know this to be true and we know it costs lives to gamble on the chance that we might all be ok rather than planning to be ok. And yet we still gamble. Because planning is hard too.
And so I came home and I made popcorn. More popcorn than a woman and a preschooler and a toddler could eat. And I allowed a bit of TV with the popcorn, even though TV is a weekend-only thing. And later, after dinner, we had dessert, even though dessert is also a weekend-only thing. Because Mondays are hard. And people are hard. And starting over is hard. And the news is hard. Missing planes and hills that crush homes and devastate lives. And countries are led by humans and being human among other humans is hard.
But popcorn and Nutella and family dinner. Those things are easy.