Angela Amman

Melted Popsicles

Overcoming obstacles
One minute Dylan was telling his favorite joke, a combination of three openings and punchlines mashed together into something that brightens his eyes every time. He loves it because we laugh, and then he laughs, and we all laugh a little more.

The next moment his popsicle was on the floor, his face washed with tears and a little bit of orange popsicle. After consoling a momentarily inconsolable boy, I pulled out my floor steamer to really be certain to clean all the stickiness.

My steamer heats up quickly, and I was able to give the dining room and living room a quick clean-up before the kids tired of listening to their own jokes.

I wish cleaning up all messes could be so simple.

The shootings in Sandy Hook left me with more questions than answers.

Christmas clothes

But I hope we can all take our collective heavy hearts and open them a little and ask the right questions. I want to yell that there is an easy solution to this mess, a steam cleaner to sanitize the darkness that allowed this to happen to the most innocent of hearts.

I want to yell about assault weapons or mental health care or security. I want to blame video games or violence in movies. But there is no single answer, no one thing that will prevent something like this from happening again.

Playing telescope

But we need to talk about this. We need to quiet the accusations and bring concrete ideas to the table. Unfortunately when we most need it, discourse seems to be shoved to the side by the loudest voices.

In The Night Before Christmas, the reindeer aren’t stymied by the limitations of the ground: “When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.”

We owe it to our popsicle spillers and joke tellers to find the words to frame the important questions. Maybe then we will be able to find answers that can take us above our differences and find answers that prevent this from happening again.

Do you have a hard time staying calm when discussing something in which you strongly believe?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Sharon December 21, 2012, 3:13 am

You are right. There are no easy answers. There has always been criminals and crazy people amongst us. Someone will always fall between the cracks no matter how many “laws” are passed, how many mental health clinics are built. Evil can’t be stopped but we can always pray, sometimes that is all we have left, prayers.

Angela December 21, 2012, 6:05 pm

We owe it to our babies to make those cracks a little smaller.

Kir December 21, 2012, 7:07 am

you always have the GOOD words, the right words. The level headed, wonderful things to say.

yes, our children deserve for us to talk, to listen, to help, to heal.

this was just beautiful my friend.

Angela December 21, 2012, 6:03 pm

Thank you. I don’t know that they’re the right words, but until we start piecing our words together we’re not going to solve anything.

Shell December 21, 2012, 7:37 am

We do owe it to our kids to try to find answers- I just wish there was an easy answer to all this.

Angela December 21, 2012, 6:01 pm

Me too. Like Magic 8 Ball easy. Sigh.

Denise December 21, 2012, 7:52 am

It’s going to take a combination of things to make a difference and we need to put every idea on the table. I find it hard to discuss the things I’m passionate about without getting angry but we all have to keep talking. We owe it to the victims and to all of us. We have to change.

Angela December 21, 2012, 6:00 pm

Yes, some sort of change. This? What we have? Isn’t working 🙁

Mandy December 21, 2012, 9:21 am

I tend to speak passionately about things I feel strongly about. At the same time, I also try – no matter how difficult – to see both sides of the argument and apply logic to the situation.

In other words, I try to be Spock even as my Kirk screams internally.

I find I want people to apply logic, to look at stats presented not by groups with an interest, but raw data, and to stop digging in their heels in sheer stubborness that they are right and others are wrong. Because as long as we believe only one side is right, compromise will not happen.

Angela December 21, 2012, 5:58 pm

I agree so much with everything you said (well, I don’t know much about Spock and Kirk, so I’m not so sure about that part 🙂 ). We’re going to have to compromise and bend and twist and also reach to new places to fix this. Our founding fathers couldn’t have fathomed this, in my opinion, and we need to respect not only their literal words but the spirit on which this nation was formed.