I know. I know. It's a tough world out there, and the first glimpse of heartbreak always happens in the home.
It's been a morning of sheer agony here at the LazyBones household, as my toddler has been slowly (and I mean s - l - o - w - l - y) working his way through the stages of grief (he seems to be stuck vacillating between anger and depression). The break of day began with its typical beauty, but took a turn for the worse after slamming up against the hard, ugly fact that a banana skin broken can simply never be a whole banana again. Time does not move back; what's done can never be undone. If you think this is akin to breaking a toy, or losing a favorite storybook, I implore you: Please. Think. Again.
It's more like God has died, and we have borne witness. On top of which, knowing Satan and his minions will be here soon enough to take over the earth. And in the meantime, there is nothing but misery. Endless, bottomless mourning and misery.
But wait! What about a new banana? A brand new, unbroken banana? With skin as smooth as baby's bottom, as blemish-free as the soft cheek of a prepubescent child? Might a new banana stem the tidal wave of tears?
A new banana? You may as well offer to replace a man's dying family with a posse of strangers! A favorite pet fallen ill with a scruffy stuffed animal found on the street! A new banana is but an insult to the toddler's anguish. It does naught but drive the pain deeper, and begin the wailing anew, with a whole 'nother level of dedication.
And then, you might think peeling the banana and ..... er, not to be insensitive, but, um, ..... eating it? ..... would be another idea with a small spark of promise. But NO! And NOOOOOOO!!! You would most certainly be wrong about that idea! It surpasses insensitive, bordering on blasphemous! HAVE YOU NO SOUL!? This poor banana has BROKEN SKIN, and nothing can make it right again, short of the skin GROWING BACK TOGETHER! Can you make that happen? CAN YOU!? Well then, you are useless, and you may as well leave the poor boy to his desolation and distress.
But DON'T LEEEAAAVE!!! You may have nothing to offer in the way of comfort, but that's certainly no excuse for you to go on about your way, attempting to accomplish meager household tasks, as though you can remain untouched by the tragedy of a broken banana skin RIGHT HERE IN YOUR OWN HOME! Taking heartlessness to a whole new dimension!
No, you must be present, and the child must abandon himself to the pain. He must wallow in his woe, until comes the time when .....
Wait, is that toast? With butter? And juice? With ice?
Not that it could possibly offer any consolation in such a dire circumstance; it has, in fact, been verbally rejected multiple times, but now that it is here ..... might he be permitted to enjoy it with Thomas the Tank Engine on in the background? While clutching the injured banana so tight in one hand he calls to mind no one so much as Charlton Heston with a gun, matching both his deep dedication to his chosen cause and a somewhat baffling level of intensity?
Yes? He will be allowed to eat his breakfast under these terms of agreement? Well, then.
It appears that the world just might go on, after all. And once everything else has been ingested, the boy might just glance down at the banana in his hand, as if surprised to see it there, and take a giant leap into acceptance, announcing: Naynay a good! And peeling and eating it as if a broken banana skin is no tragedy of epic proportions, just the first step in a series of events ending in breakfast. Blood sugar levels return to a normal range and in the same instant, balance is restored to the universe.
At least for the moment. We have a whole basket of bananas in the kitchen. If ever I were tempted to bake banana bread, today would be the day.