empathy

Empathy is hard.  I do not mean that it makes life hard, I mean that it is hard to acquire.  I know what pain is.  I have experienced it.  A lot.  We all have.  Yet, when Wendy is sick, or the kids have a headache it’s hard for me to empathize.

Of course, I feel bad that they are unwell.  But, there pain is not mine, and so it is difficult to understand it.

Isaac does not have this problem.

Wendy is shooting boudoir sessions.  For some reason, I am not invited.  

Isaac and Isabelle and I are whiling away are time at a museum.  The kids are troopers.  Some pieces engage them, some they pretend to like, and others are not even worth the attempt.  Pretty much, exactly my take on the place.

The first hour goes well.  The kids are engaged.  The second hour is a bit more of a struggle.  They begin to watch people and look for diversions.  

Isabelle finds one in the form of a microphone.  It is slung in a holster attached to the wall.  A green light declares open mic to the welder.  The kids are between me and the mic.  Isabelle goes for it.  

I notice this.  Afraid of Isabelle’s voice booming through the quiet museum corridors, I attempt to stop her.

“Izzy, don’t touch that.”  I whisper harshly.

She is undeterred.  All that is between her and her new title as Museum MC is my whisper.  She grabs the mic and puts it against her lips.  I simultaneously brace myself for the sound storm and attempt to wrest the mic from her grasp.  

An aside about Isabelle.  She is loud.  Now, she is not always so, but sometimes, she speaks and I just wonder how all of that noise came out of that petite body.  It is not anticipatable.  Don’t ask me to pronounce that word.  I was not even sure it was a word people.  But, there is no red squiggly under it, so I am going with it. One moment she will be speaking in normal tone.  She then might lower her voice, perhaps to draw my close- and blast my eardrums.

So, my terror at her brushing the mic against her lips and drawing in breath is founded.  

I draw the mic away from her just as she let’s loose.  

“I AM TINKERBELL!  KING OF OZ!”  People in our vicinity turn at stare at the odd pronouncement.  Really, what do you do with that?  Clap? Luckily the mic was out of range.  

I am as amused as I am annoyed.  An angry mix of emotions.  It is not OK to holler into microphones at museums though, and so I have her fold her arms and sit on a bench.  

She objects abjectly to this.  Big tears roll down her cheeks.  Sobs begin.  People stare some more.  I am now debating my tactic.  Teach her to not make a scene in a museum by causing a scene.

Isaac asks to go talk to Belle.  I deny the request.  The whole solitary confinement thing.  Isaac stands beside me as we wait out the storm.  My stomach starts to snivel.  Wait, my stomach has never done that before, perhaps it is something else.  

I look down to explore the noise.  Isaac has tears streaming down his face. I ask him what the matter is.  

“I have a soft heart.  I just want to make Izzy happy.”

Of course, I now grant the request.  As he hugs his sister and soothes her, I begin to tear up.  My throat tightens.  I am glad that my dear son has taught me something about empathy.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer
Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer
Salt Lake Utah Lifestyle Photographer

BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah