We play this game at play group. The parachute game. We take a well-worn (grubby)
fluorescent, rainbow colored parachute and hold it in a circle. It has handles. We sing and we whip the parachute about. It billows out as it reaches its apex and is pulled back down. Sucks in concave as it’s ripped up again. Smiling, singing parents stand and hold its handles. Pumping up and down to make it move. Under it our children gather. We see them in quick flashes as the parachute is pulled up and quickly down again. (Flash)They sit on the gym floor, (Flash)or dance (Flash)or sing, (Flash)or run (flash)or . . .
It's the "or . . ." that gets me. A little part of me fears this game.
I can’t take the flashes. The long seconds when I lose sight of the Peanut. Who knows what could happen under there? It’s a complete free-for-all. Every time the parachute comes down again over my angel's tousled, strawberry kissed hair, my mind's eye starts with the horror flicks. (Flash) Giant, enraged 4 year-olds (Flash) stomping and kicking, (Flash) hair pulling, (Flash) biting ( (Flash) bloodshed (Flash) Nazis, (Flash) Dick Cheney (Flash) trans fats (Flash) shivs fashioned from Barbie legs (Flash) toddlers removing dirty diapers. It only takes a couple seconds of unsupervised play for Lord of The Flies: The Toddler Years to break out.
These things have yet to happen. But they could. Still, I let her run under there when the game starts. Out of my sight. Alone. I'll do the same for the Pumpkin Man when he's ready, too.
Parenting. Every thing is a goddamn metaphor.