Maximus and Monster Spray
Did you miss us before we were in your belly? Because we were here a long, long time ago and I think you didn't know ~ Lila, September 2011
I see Lila and AJ as relatively short people with just as many fears and joys as us taller ones. I refuse to discount anything they say. I believe them when they tell me there are monsters in the closet (this coming from someone who sprints upstairs from basements, lest my ankles get grabbed, then bitten, then munched upon by otherworldly demons); I get sad and sheltering when Lila articulates an entire episode of preschool friend angst; and I think it's kick-ass when AJ explains the mechanics of anything and everything. (Just ask him where dinosaurs come from. I dare you.)
So when they talk about deep stuff (I mean deep), I listen intently. To Lila, especially, as she's a bit more reflective of her very long life. Case in point:
Lila to me: "When your mommy and daddy were little, where were you? Because, you know you were here, right? We all were. Not just babies. Not just big bellies. Everybody. Even all of the animals. We were all here. Nona and Papa were here before they were in bellies. We all knew each other a long, long time ago."
I could add so many more Lila quotes here, but they've all got the same message: We are all one. When she's finished with her little life 'lessons', I am usually left tongue-tied and kind of just whispering to the room around me, "Nana? Is that you? Grampy? ... Jesus?"
I'm sure all kids say these types of things and I'm just a sucker. I'm reminded of a time my mom recalls when she and my dad were proud new 20-something-year-old parents to a tiny kitten. My mom relays a conversation to the tune of: "Rod, look! We have such a smart cat, oh my God! She's licking her paw and then cleaning her face with it! I mean what cat does that?" Whatever. I still believe my bunnies when they talk about celestial things...
They're scared of monsters, so I went ahead and bought them Monster Spray. Good thing we went to World Market when we did, because they were almost out of
What's interesting to me is this: Adults need assurances just like children do. On an everyday basis I catch myself reaching for things that, in some way, will assure me my day is going to be OK. Morning caffeine, checking in with my parents, listening to NPR, touching base with friends, time out to listen to music... to be barefoot outside, a nice glass or two of my favorite cabernet at night, to read something enlightening... They're all things (and albeit things) that assure to me I will have a safe, secure, relatable day. Others may need some touch of a salty wave or a pat on the back from a client or a chart that says their patient responded to treatment. Whatever it is, in whatever capacity, children and adults alike need assurances. We need some sort of promise, albeit at times make-believe, that everything is going to be OK. It's beautiful to me because it's human.
As is levity. Lila's been waiting for Maximus to arrive since Easter. In a nutshell, she and AJ have seen "Tangled" a number of times and think it's quite nifty. But Maximus? Well. He just burned a hole in Lila's tiny tangled heart. She is entranced.
And just his being here made everything grand...
I equate Maximus' arrival to that of good news: You're pregnant. You're not. You're going on a trip. You're healthy. Your best friend is coming to visit. You're accepted to ____ college. What you've been waiting for is finally here...
Tonight when I put Lila to bed, she cuddled up with her bunny Flopsy and put Maximus in a box with a blanket. When I asked her why he couldn't sleep with her, she answered, "He's just too big."
I get that. Sometimes you wait for something so long, when you finally get it, it's either too big or something you may not have needed in the first place. Perhaps I'm looking too much into what my loves say, but that's fine by me. I may need my own kind of monster spray to get by, and I may put too much credence into the Maximuses in life, but... I'm paying attention.
Figure out your monster spray. Find your Maximus. Happy Thursday!