Landing Safely in Madrid
When we took a family vacation to Spain in '08 we had to fly on Friday the 13th and Lilly was convinced the plane was going to crash. Lilly is incredibly superstitious, has an over-active imagination, and is more than a little bit morbid. She went online and picked out her casket. It was a cute little thing with a teddy bear on it. She packed reluctantly pointing out that she would never get to wear those clothes anyway.
When she gets like this no amount of logic or reason can dissuade her from her morbid thoughts. Maybe having cancer at the age of four makes you this way. Maybe she would be this way anyway. I don't really know. When she was 7 she was obsessed with "What happens when we're all dead and the world ends?" This bothered her so much I finally made her go talk to our minister. I don't know what that wonderful Pastor Kristen said but after an hour in her office Lilly stopped worrying about the end of the world.
Until lately because now the news and internet are full of this "End of the world in 2012" crap that's been floating around lately. I tried reason, pointing out that the end of the world has been predicted many many times and it has not happened yet. Then that damn movie came out. "Why did they make a movie about it if it isn't going to happen?" she wanted to know. I pointed out that most things in movies don't really happen like old men floating in houses held up by helium balloons going to South America. She was not reassured.
It probably does not help that sometimes, having worn down all my logic and reassurance I tend to go to the sarcasm. Like last night when she brought it up again and I said, "Hey do we have an actual date on the end of the world?" Yes, Atticus informed me, it is December 21, 2012. "Awesome! I don't have to buy any Christmas presents. I could tell you I bought you a pony but I won't actually have to deliver."
Lilly countered, "You don't care if the world ends in three years because you're old! But I just got here." I had to explain I was kidding because I'm not worried about it. I tried to enlist some help, turning to Atticus who is well-versed in this kind of thing due to the hours he logs watching The History Channel. "Tell your sister. The Mayans did not predict the future." "Well," he said, "They did accurately predict World War II" This sent Lilly screaming from the room to go say goodbye to her rabbit.
Luckily, I am very happy to report that thanks to my beloved New York Times, this morning we put an end to all the nonsense because today they published an essay entitled, "Is Doomsday Coming?: Perhaps But Not in 2012" In it, the author assures us that according to NASA and other reliable sources, there is no evidence that the Mayan prediction will come true. I made Lilly read the whole article as she ate her eggs. She kept quoting the happy news, "Hey, NASA says so!" and "This scientist says 'Most of what’s claimed for 2012 relies on wishful thinking, wild pseudoscientific folly, ignorance of astronomy and a level of paranoia worthy of ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ " after she tripped over the word pseudoscientific she chuckled out loud.
She asked if she could cut the article out and take it to school. "I'm going to show it to all those crazy kids who are scared," she said, conveniently ignoring the fact that until ten minutes ago she was one of those crazy kids.
And so I sent her off to school, relieved for the first time in months that the world will not end any time soon and I felt good too knowing that Pastor Kristen and the New York Times have got my back.