Writing Prompt: You are in Denial

A tsunami survivor who insists, “It was a great vacation with one bad day.”


Should la title not suffice, consider the following:

Denial is not relegated to the epically screwy. One of the ways that we allow denial to flourish is to assign it only to the extreme cases, a tsunami survivor who insists, “It was a great vacation with one bad day.”

A lot of what passes for acceptable parental behavior seems to me to be abusive. Some obvious examples are screaming at our children, or slapping them because we are not able to control our own anger. I am not saying it is not human. It is very human. It is also abusive.  I would not allow a care provider to behave like that with my child. Why did my parents? Why do I?

To dismiss your parents abuse because “there’s worse” out there is to miss a great writing opportunity. To dismiss examining your self is to miss an even better one.

Ranked high in the There’s Worse category is a common action: leaving a child in the car while the parent runs into the 7-11 for a soda.

I don’t care if the car is locked.

I don’t care if you “can see the kid the whole time.”

I don’t care about “It was just for a second” or “What are the odds?” 

If a child is truly safe, alone in a car, why is it illegal?

Author: allehall

I am a writer. I write to explore childhood: literary essays and short fiction, journalism, and three haiku. My published work expresses my belief that everything which did or did not happen to me as a child is manifesting in everything that is or is not happening to me today. More importantly, it is also manifesting for my children. I believe funny is the new navel-gazing, and that the best funny keeps a penny's worth of serious in an accessible pocket. Little-known fact: I have a completed novel decorating the inside of a desk drawer. Perhaps it is not funny enough.

One thought on “Writing Prompt: You are in Denial”

  1. Alle: your blog is an intoxicating blend of literary insouciance, homespun psychoanalytical musings and critical parenting advice. It should be mandatory reading for all college students, thinking members of a free society, and also Republicans.

    As for your kid in the car example, true story: my good friend was left in the car as a toddler while her mom ran into a convenience store to buy a pair of panty hose for work. Being a good parent, she locked the door. While she was in the store, a man came in and held it up at gunpoint. He took all the store’s cash and the purses of all the women customers. Which of course contained the keys to the car with the child in it. Luckily, all turned out well. But I never leave those kids in the car – I leave them home alone, with strict instructions to clean up that house and make some dinner while I’m out with my friends. Hey, they are six and nine. They can’t be coddled forever.

    (Kidding, please don’t call CPS!)

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