Wednesday, May 27, 2009


In Vietnam we get around by motorbike or by taxi. Nathan has never been buckled into a carseat, and Caleb hasn't experienced that pleasure since we visited the States when he was eighteen months old. The boys typically just sit on our laps while we brace for the madness that is Saigon traffic. I should probably add that with Nathan "sitting" is a loose concept. It usually involves Daniel and I taking turns wrestling him into some half-bent position while he lunges for the window buttons or blows zerbers on the back of the vinyl seat. Caleb used to be just as bad, but he's mellowed some with age.

It's standard to drive by the "gun it and brake" method here, so we're used to a bit of jolting and lurching whenever we're in a taxi. Last Sunday morning, Caleb took a very minor tumble. He scooted back on the seat complaining that the car was pushing him around.

"That's inertia." I explained feeling rather proud of myself. Daniel raised an eyebrow and I didn't confess that I'd been channel surfing recently and landed on a Discovery Channel episode about the mechanics of the seatbelt. Let him think he married up.

I explained to Caleb that when something is still it wants to stay still and when something is moving it wants to stay moving--very much like a little boy I know. Caleb was quiet for a moment.

"Mom," he said, "I don't like inertia. Can you just turn it off."

Hmmm, wouldn't that be the long sought solution to life's many stresses! I laugh about Caleb liking to stay put when put and to go when going, but I am equally controlled by inertia. The apple rolled down the tree trunk and nestled against the roots with this one. Neither of us like change. We ignore it, we complain about it, we resist it...then it happens. Always, it happens. In the end we gain momentum in another direction and forget all about our complaints and resistance and downright orneriness.

Oh, my sweet, stubborn boy! I don't believe we're going to flip the switch on inertia anytime soon. Maybe we should just try rolling with it.

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