Packed for Disaster

Posted on | January 9, 2015 | 1 Comment

Sometime over Christmas break, J developed what he calls his “disaster kit.” It’s basically a tote bag that has a variety of items in it, such as sun screen, chapstick, a map, a guidebook to Barcelona, a flashlight, and various other random things. He carries it… everywhere… and at first it was a little annoying. I was a little concerned as to why J believed he needed something for disasters. Why was he even thinking about disasters? Had he watched something scary? Were they discussing disasters at school? Had I inadvertently done something to instill fear in this sweet little five year old? But then I decided to let go of the worry and just let him work through this stage. Today, I even dropped him off at school in his little black gloves and storm trooper toboggan, with the Santa Claus tote bag full of what he believes he may need in event of disaster.

I’m not sure where his fascination with this came from, but I do know this: every single one of us has something similar, don’t we? For a lot of women, it’s their purse… chock full of all the various things they may need for a random collection of events. For some, it’s their car… stuffed to the brim with “important” receipts and items. For me, though, my disaster kit is in my mind… a collection of items that I think I’d grab in the event of an emergency; things that are scattered all over my house and maybe, probably, just ought to be in a Santa Claus tote of their own.

Things like pictures and my current phone. Things like my old phone with all my old text messages from Jen before she passed away. Things like the jewelry Banks has given me and my favorite blanket. Things that I would try to grab in the event of a catastrophe. But the more I thought about the things I’d grab, the more I realized that it isn’t the things that matter so much… it’s that sense, however inaccurate, of control, of knowing that those “things” are salvageable. It’s believing that you can handle anything and everything life throws at you if you just have the right tools tucked inside your Santa Claus tote bag.

I think maybe J just needs to feel like he’s in control of something, like he’s prepared for what life throws at him, no matter what it is. Maybe he has that Santa Claus tote bag because it’s one of the few things he exercises complete and total control over… it’s his. He packed it, he alone knows what each item represents. Maybe this is just his way of feeling safe in a world that’s constantly changing.

Honestly, I’m not sure what brought it all on. Maybe a ninja turtles episode, maybe hearing something on the news, maybe reading something on a street corner we walked past. But whatever brought it on, I hope he holds it with him always… the sense that he can handle anything, the idea that he is strong enough to face what life throws at him with the bag of tools at his disposal. I hope that I can help him create his own internal Santa Claus tote bag, full of the lessons and love that he may need to face the life ahead of him.

And really? I hope that in his little five year old world, he will never need anything more than a flashlight, sunscreen, and chapstick to make it through.

Comments

One Response to “Packed for Disaster”

  1. NinjaPanza
    January 16th, 2015 @ 10:13 am

    Ah, that’s sweet, and more endearing than my 5-year old, who attaches significant meaning to something different every day.

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