I saw this picture in the news today. It was in Germany, an apartment building caught on fire and the wooden staircase was one of the first structures to be destroyed by the fire. It left these parents with little choice as the flames crept closer to them.
Something changed in me when I became a parent, you notice children a lot more, even children that aren’t your own, you just understand that bond and you understand how much children need. A couple of years ago, I would have seen this article and skipped right over it, I wouldn’t have cared, today I see this article and for a moment I got a little choked up. I could feel myself in that building, holding Winston, thinking about this terrible dilemma, holding him tight trying to keep him safe or throwing him out the building 4 floors below because I knew it was his only chance for survival, what a horrible decision to make (one reason that I am happy my apartment is on the ground floor!). Luckily, the baby was caught by people below and is presumed to be safe.
But as I looked at the photo longer, I started to laugh. As crazy as the flames must have been, as panicked as the parents were, as deft defying as this jump was, I think about how the baby was probably happy as can be to float through the air for a couple seconds. Winston just loves being thrown through the air, climbing onto chairs and tables, this acrobatic stunt would have fulfilled his day. The babies perspective is in days, minutes, and seconds, the parent’s perspective spans across multiple generations. That was the irreconcilable gap in the photo that was so hysterical, the parents worry, the baby’s bliss.