Many a time I am driving when I suddenly hear screeches of “Halp! Halp!” from the backseat, and I swivel my head around just in time to watch one dinosaur save another from…the carseat? I don’t know. Something disastrous anyway. Eamon then calmly assures me, “Ceratops okay, Mimi. Ceratops okay.”
Well, thank goodness.
Sometimes, though, situations require more direct intervention. Yesterday, for instance, my dad was helping to child-proof Eamon’s room (Okay, we’re late on this. Moving on.) Unfortunately, this was made very difficult by the Big Orange Monkey of Doom and his Medium-Sized Black Gorilla Sidekick of Destruction that kept “attacking” us. Luckily, we had a three foot tall hero in our midst. Before they could do any damage, Eamon would leap onto Doom & Destruction (yes! At the same time!) and wrestle them into submission amidst a lot of grunting and shouts of “Oh, no, monkeys! Eamon halp! Eamon halp!”
Through a serious force of effort, over the course of about 10 minutes Eamon managed to drag the recalcitrant stuffed animals from the room, making us safe forever more from crazy stuffed monkeys. Peace reigned, and Eamon assured us that we were “Safe, safe,” until about 15 seconds later when, looking rather bored, he apparently spied those tricky monkeys trying to re-enter his kingdom, and the battle began all over.
Sometimes, though, crises happen outside of Eamon’s imagination. But in all his exploits with carseats and stuffed monkeys, Eamon has trained for this. When danger erupted, he was not found wanting.
The setting was this: a warm, peaceful day just before dinner. Eamon was outside playing with a family friend in the backyard, saving his dinosaurs from the Slide of Terror. I set the table for dinner while Aaron got drinks from the refrigerator.
While reaching for the iced tea, Aaron accidentally knocked a bowl full of raspberries, which fell to the floor and shattered.
“FURK!” yelled Aaron (except one of those letters was actually a C).
The sound of the breaking bowl had not been quiet. It rang out through the backyard all the way to the slide. Eamon gasped. Trouble! Afoot! Not silly, made-up dinosaur trouble, either, but real life crisis! This was it.
In the midst of picking up raspberries, I suddenly hear from the backyard, “Daddy! Eamon halp! Eamon halp!” I ran outside, and there was Eamon, running bravely towards the house.
“Eamon!” I said, meeting him at the door. “Daddy broke something, but he’s okay.”
My proclamation slowed Eamon not a bit, and he kept resolutely climbing the stairs onto the porch. “Broken! Eamon halp Daddy! Eamon halp Daddy! Broken!”
I blocked the doorway into the house. “Eamon,” I tried to assure him. “Daddy’s okay. You can’t come in because he broke glass, and it could cut you and hurt you."
Eamon looked at me warily. If the situation was so dangerous, then surely I should let him in. He could halp. But I did not budge from the doorway.
He shook his head. “Daddy!” he finally whimpered pitifully. “Daddy broken!”
Realizing that he was worried about his father because he had mixed up the message and incorrectly interpreted that his DADDY was broken, I finally picked Eamon up. I took him inside and showed him his father, who was fine except for being highly annoyed that he had to pick up the shattered remains of the bowl.
“See, Eamon? Daddy’s okay. The bowl is broken, but Daddy’s okay.”
It was at this point that I realized that our pint-sized hero had pooped his pants. Considering that he does this every day, I was willing to take it as purely a biological necessity rather than a reaction to fear. Regardless, I took him upstairs to change him, thus ending the entire episode.
Or so I thought.
Later that evening after Eamon’s shower, I was putting on his jammies when Eamon suddenly looked at me. “Daddy okay,” he told me thoughtfully. “Broken, daddy okay.”
“Yes, daddy broke something, but he’s okay.”
“Yep. But he’s okay.”
Thoughtful silence, then, “Yes. Daddy okay.”
Then this morning, after a peaceful night of sleep, Eamon awoke with cries of “Daddy! Daddy!”
Strange, I thought, because he usually calls out for me after a night of sleep. But apparently his night had had its share of crisis remembered.
I went in and the first thing he said to me was, “Daddy broke.”
“Yes, Daddy broke a bowl last night.”
“Daddy okay,” he assured…me? Himself?
“Yep, Daddy is still okay.”
And I realized…while it just seemed like a silly bowl to us…Eamon was really WORRIED. And yet, despite all his worry, he had bravely rushed in to…?
“What would you have done, anyway?” I asked Eamon. “If I had let you into the kitchen, what exactly do you think that you would have done to help?”
But he didn’t answer. I’m pretty sure that if he could articulate it, the answer would have been something along the lines of, “Whatever needed to be done.”
Quite simply, he would have Helped. Because that is what Eamons do.
To save what is important...