Saturday--October 19
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 402
I Am My Grandson's
 First Terrorist!!

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, October 19 -- It was a frightening feeling--the idea I was my grandson's first Terrorist--his first taste of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        My Terrorism was inflicted by accident upon the almost four-month-old, conceived in the ash of Nine Eleven, born as a symbol of Vigilance in a world riddled with Terrorisms.
        I hadn't planned to be his first Terrorist.

       I hadn't plotted to be the one who drove the spike of Fear into his heart, causing him to recoil into a ball of tears, tiny fists clenched, eyes squinted as the howl of his frightened Voice cut through the quiet of the night.
        I stood in shock, watching my wife rush over to Baby Angus, coo and comfort him until his whimpers ceased, and he returned back to a state of contentment, perhaps more wary than before of the six-foot-four-inch "monster" who had, a few moments earlier, stood above him and played "peek-a-boo."
         It was baby sitting night for the three kids, Matt, 6, Sarah, 4 and Baby Angus.   Angus is a happy baby.   He is a content little guy whose smile beams at everyone.   He doesn't cry or fuss except when he's hungry, and would be classed as a "Grade-AAA" baby were little ones measured like quality and "Jumbo" when it came to size.
         Many say Baby Angus looks like me because he has rich brown eyes and facial features not unlike mine.   I consider it an honor when such comments are heard.
         Plus, he's a stout little guy who gobbles up food--milk--and has the body of an "Angus," a bull-like countenance that perhaps will evolve into a hulking form able to throw a caber or appear on ESPN "World's Strongest Men" competition pulling tractors with his bare teeth.
         He has big eyes, that flick and roam the room in search of movement and faces to connect with, as though eager to rush into the madding stream of life and bypass the crawling and gooing stages, leaping right into playing with his brother's and sister's Rescue Hero figures or building castles or forts with wooden blocks, or swinging on the monkey bars at the local playgrounds.
         So it shocked me when he crumbled into spasms of fear at my peek-a-boo game, and sent a surge of Fear through me that I might be his first "Terrorist."     

         Earlier I had played the game with him.  Angus was sitting in my wife's lap and I was within a few inches of his face, covering mine with the palm of my large hand as I said:  "Peeeeeeekkkkk---aaaaahhhh---" and then moving my hand quickly down to uncover my face saying...."Booooooooo!"   He giggled, almost chortled, when I did it.  His eyebrows quirked upward in a manner already renowned as the 'Angus brow-ism'.  His big brown eyes sparkled.   

       Later that evening he was on the floor, inside his little baby rocker.  His chocolate eyes were looking up at me as he lay contented, watching with anticipation.   I stood  six-foot-four inches above him, 270 pounds above him, looking down.    I thought I'd play the game again for us both to enjoy.
        I put my hand over my face and said: "Peeeeeekkkkk....ahhhhhhh..." and then quickly pulled it down and said, "Booooooooo...."
        He didn't respond.   He just looked up at me.   I repeated the play game.   Only this time Angus' eyes grew very wide, as though I had tossed a glass of ice water on him.   His face scrunched up suddenly and his mouth opened.  It was all in slow motion to me as his little fists balled and his eyes squinched and he began to howl the howl of the wounded pup, frightened and alone in the wilderness, screaming for the security of its mother or father, lost in the dark dank wilderness of Terror's forest.
        I can't say if my grandson has been Terrorized before.   Our daughter and son-in-law didn't think so when they came home and we told the story of Baby Angus's recoil reaction to my second round of peek-a-boo.
        Angus has the most loving home and it is unlikely that he receives any Terror other than his cries for food or when his diapers are full--but those are physical discomforts.
        I struck his Emotional Terror button.

       Putting myself in his place, I was a huge body looming overhead like a World Trade Center icon.  Perhaps my Voice or its tone struck some Fear cord, triggered the primal concern of my size and the danger it presented to the small, weak, unprotected.
        When I was in the Marine Corps I hated the derogatory term attributed to us as "baby killers," and sought to be as gentle with children as possible because of the stigma those words left on me.    I also had to guard my Voice, for I could easily rim it with a growl, letting the Beast Within escape to warn those around me to beware of my wrath.
        Perhaps Baby Angus saw in me the Terrorist I so try to control--the one I know that lurks within all people--large or small.  
        I knew that Baby Angus would now see me in a different light than his mother and father, my wife, his brothers and sisters.   I would have a Scarlet "T" on my forehead, the guy who "scared him," the guy who "made him cry."
        I knew that wariness.   As a child, I was wary of my father--my stepfather.   He was big and gruff and I was small and vulnerable.  He was prone to violence and I learned at early age both submission and defiance.  But there was never trust between us, for the violence was always hovering like nuclear fallout, waiting to descend.
       I wondered about Parents of Non-Vigilance.  Would they not think of the impact their acts of "Terror," had upon a child--loud Voices, angry words shot between husband and wife--arguments over money--lashing out at the children to "shut up"--neglecting their desire to sense trust and love in the sanctuary of a home?
      When I became a parent, I chose to be a Parent of Vigilance.  I guarded my emotions as I might a loaded weapon, trying to corral my angers, my resentments, my ferocity.   I wasn't always successful, but when I did explode I followed up with an explanation to my children, attempting to let them know that I was wrong in my actions, exposing my vulnerabilities so I could neutralize any Fear, Intimidation or Complacency I might have showered upon them.

       As a Child of Terror, I knew the deep wounds that never heal when a child feels the abandonment of love and trust, and lives a life of walking on eggshells hoping not to crunch any for fear of being the brunt of a parent's wrath.   I knew many children live in that kind of Terror, waiting for the explosion to occur--the anger to erupt, the words slung like sledgehammers driving them to their bedrooms, or to a corner where they waited for the storm to pass.

        I knew such fear could be subtle.  It comes through emotional neglect as well as physical peristalsis.   It could be as mundane as not asking a child how his or her heart was, or showing a sincere interest in the child's feelings.  It could come in forcing a child to become some image the parent of had of what the child should be, making the child into a reflection of what the parent wasn't or wanted to be, or expected the child to be, while denying the child his or her rights of individuality.    It could come in demanding unearned respect, or by favoring one child over another, or telling a child he or she "should be more like" someone else, or that he or she wasn't as smart as, or any other demeaning denouncement of a child's being.

      I knew Angus would survive his first Terrorism.   He would survive it because he was a Child of Vigilance, with parents and grandparents who focus their attention on the right of the child to live in Vigilance, not in Terror.
      But it still bothered me I was the source of that Terrorism.   It made me more aware of the Beast of Terror within me who slips out when least expected as a reminder that Terror lives within me as well as Vigilance, and that its acidic nature can creep into my being without my awareness.  Angus saw it.  Angus felt it.
      It also reminded me that I am on the right track.
      To be aware that my grandson had suffered his first attack of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency by me spurred me to insure he was bolstered with the Shield of Vigilance--the Courage, Conviction and ability to take the Right Actions to stand up to any Terrorist--even his grandfather.
      And, I vowed to never play peek-a-boo with Angus except on his level--eye-to-eye rather than from six-feet-four-inches above.     And, to say "Boooooooo...." with Vigilance...loving Vigilance...

       I hoped also more parents and grandparents would do the same.






Oct 18--Bomb Korea & Iraq!

©2001 - 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design