Saturday, October 5, 2013

Really and Truly, There are No Cougars in the Woods (right now.)

Day 31: Oct. 5, 2013

My daughter asks me questions about the end of the world. “Mommy, where do the people go when the earth dies?” “Which will die first, the earth or the sun?” These questions have been endless ever since we read the encyclopedia of the universe.  I try to explain to her that people will no longer be around when the earth dies, but this response is unacceptable. She wants to know where we will be. Finally I give in and suggest that maybe by that time, we’ll have figured out how to travel to and inhabit other planets in our solar system. She ponders this for about a week, then the questions come back.

Once, an older girl explained to my daughter that cougars roam the woods of Oregon and will eat children if they find them. Thanks, a lot, random eight year old girl who captured the imagination of my daughter and ruined my life.  Both of my children are deathly afraid of cougars who infiltrate their minds at any time of day or night and wreck a perfectly tranquil moment.  “Mommy, do cougars live here and do they really eat children?” Uh, well, as a matter of fact, yes, they do. This response is definitely not acceptable. I try to explain that cougars are rare, and the likelihood of coming in contact with one is very small, and there are no cougars in our woods right this minute, so all is well.  She ponders this for about five minutes, then the questions come back.

This weekend I am seeing people I have not seen for twenty years. It feels like no time has passed since then. When you’re a child, time passes very slowly, and when you’re and adult it passes very quickly. And not only that, childhood memories are the most vivid and last forever whereas adult memories are lucky to take hold for five minutes. As and adult, I feel fortunate to be forced to answer the questions of a child, and to think about what it was like to be a child in order to figure out the best way to answer them.

Coffee: my mood on this front is becoming morbid. I am currently staring at a trash can overflowing with coffee cups. I think part of my morbidity is that I'm hungry and tired, but its also that when I tell people about the coffee cup aspect of the project, they smile and nod and say, "that's sweet." Its ok. I'll keep on keepin' on with my own personal goals, and maybe someone somewhere will get with the program and that's a start.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Its still on! We're up to $29. If you use a reusable cup, send me an email here, and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


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