Saturday, May 17, 2014


The world always seems to tilt under my feet when I take my grandson Max out for the day. The last time it tilted was on a trip to our local library. Max was on the far side of the room and easy to spot. He was rambling about showing off his alligator shoes that lit up each time his feet hit the ground. They blinked so much I wondered how long the battery would last. Max also wore his best, favourite T shirt festooned with the monstrous open mouth of a great white shark with bloody teeth. He loved that gory shirt so much that he wore it to bed.

The library was calm but for the rattle of newspapers and the low hum of quiet conversation. But then, in a voice that made the windows shake,  everyone in the library was treated to Max, at top volume shouting, "Judy, Poo is coming!" Then frantically bellowing, "Judy, poo is coming fast!"

Leaping up to avert a disaster, Thomas(Max's favourite librarian), scrambled for his keys and hustled the two of us to the closest bathroom, the staff bathroom.. During the ensuing event while tottering on the toilet seat, Max looked contemplative and asked me ever so earnestly, "Judy, why poo?"

I bit my cheeks and tried not to laugh and dealt with the basics of digestion appropriate for a four year old little boy. We went "over the lips, past the gums, look out stomach, here it comes," and then I launched into the exciting and specific dynamics of bowel action. His reaction? "Oh." Question asked. Question answered. Check the zipper and we're off.

However, Max's question lingered in my mind. It's one that has bugged me for decades. Indeed, why poo? What good is poo? Why do some get more life poo to deal with than others?

Even if you live in a deep cave, you can't avoid the tough and trying experiences that are an inevitable part of life. When adversity hits, some of us linger and stall. Our tragedies may kill us yet some of us thrive beyond surviving them and live life with a ferocity and newness that may not have emerged before.

Me? Ask me next week about my own poo quandaries and the answer might not be the same as the one I come up with right now. For today, poo is just the result of a good meal and an honest experience with a curious, trusting, dear little boy. Thank heavens Max didn't ask me about sex or, God forbid, Santa Clause.

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