Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

Remembering Moore

on May 28, 2013

I promised myself to get more regular with these posts. Maybe next time.

I was writing a whole different post yesterday before the tornadoes hit Moore, OK, but I find I can’t ignore that now. For days, I burst into tears now just from having the news on. There have been a few other times in my life when that was also the case, but this is especially bad, coming as it does so close on the heels of Sandy Hook, Hurricane Sandy, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

Over the years, I’ve heard various people say that they wanted to “see” a tornado. I’ve tried to convince them that no, they don’t. The fact is, you don’t see a tornado. You are INVOLVED with a tornado. You are affected by a tornado. You are endangered by a tornado. The closest I’ve ever been to one was about five miles from my husband’s family farm in Iowa when we lived there.  We knew how to read the clouds very well. One time, the clouds overhead started moving in a circular pattern. I ran for our dingy, dirty basement. It hit a town very near us. I don’t care to do that again. There were a few other instances, but the memory of that circular motion stuck with me.

The new reports always try to show the devastation from tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., but nothing compares with experiencing the devastation first-hand. It’s not something I’m recommending. Just saying photographs can never show it. You can’t imagine it if you’ve never experienced it. Even adults with all their faculties and good control cannot help but be affected.

Imagine being a child in the midst of the destruction. The world doesn’t make much sense to begin with. Now you’re being told you have nowhere to sleep. No snacks. Not even any water to drink. Some of your friends are gone. Your parents are at a loss to help you put things into perspective.

These children need comfort – in a hundred different forms. Listen to them and help where you can.

I took time this week to read Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña. Matt is one of the speakers at the Los Angeles conference I will attend in Mexican WhiteboyAugust. I can hardly wait to hear him in person now. I’ve always been fascinated by ethnic and racial identity as an issue. I took African American history at my nearly 100% white high school back when that was a new thing. Anyway, this book has a lot to do with what it means to be white or Mexican or black or all of the above.  Of course, nothing is ever simple. The book is also about finding a place in the world and learning to be happy with what you are. The main characters also learn to accept their parents as imperfect human beings who need love and acceptance. In this society where races and ethnic backgrounds are mixing, it’s more important than ever to celebrate those backgrounds. Highly recommend this book.  Of course, all the baseball references don’t hurt.

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