I saw that. -Karma

The law of karma is something that we refer to a lot in our house, and our 8 year old son is of the temperament where he spends a lot more time arguing against this eternal boomerang than he does acknowledging its truth. I can remember my own youth and the sense of  ‘untouchableness’ that my karmic naivety briefly allowed me to enjoy. These days I am a firm believer that the Universe eventually coaxes (or sometimes beats) the notion of ‘karmic exemption’ out of most of us.

Backstory time: Last Wednesday, Ajay’s class had a little ‘Gratitude Gathering’ that parents were invited to. My hubby and I both cleared our work schedules and met in the school parking lot the morning of. As we hurried down the school hallway toward his classroom the principal saw us and motioned us aside.  So as the other parents filed single file into the classroom to listen to their children express gratitude, my hubby and I were momentarily detained with a run down of recent playground activities.

With the constraint of a Supreme Court judge, he managed with a straight face, to get through a short dialogue recounting how our little angel and a few of his buddies had just the day before found a pile of rather fresh dog poop on the playground, had carefully covered it in a large mass of brightly colored fall leaves, and then summoned an unassuming classmate to jump into their artfully appointed fall arrangement.  I had remained attentive to his words until he got to the part of the story where he said “Ka-Pow” and threw his arms up into the air dramatically. That was when my eyes closed reflexively as I tried to will away the image he had just brought to life in my mind.

Of course we had a long talk about this event with Ajay when he got home. As I lectured him on the importance of kindness, he rebuffed me by saying, ‘BUT MOMMMMMM….it wasn’t mean, it was just funny. Even the kid who landed in the poop thought it was funny….’ Just as I had always done with his two siblings before him, I dutifully recounted the law of karma. He stared at me blankly and I knew he was probably quietly praying to his patron Saint who I am convinced is Dennis the Menace – (The Tao of Dennis is the mischievous but quite harmless path he has followed thus far, all the days of his life.) As he remained unmoved by my wisdom, I silently summoned the karma Gods forward hoping they would teach him what I could not.

Apparently those karma gods are on speed dial because it was just after lunch yesterday when my phone rang and it was the school secretary. Apparently our little angel had slipped while playing dodge ball, and guess what he landed in? That’s right… ‘Ka-Pow!’

As I made my way down the school hallway with a clean pair of pants for the little bugger, the school principal popped his head out of his office and we exchanged knowing smiles. As I rounded the corner and saw my little man sitting alone with a giant brown smear across his leg, I almost felt sorry for him, but before my sympathy could get any traction at all- my little Dennis the Menace incarnate was looking up at me laughing through his toothless grin. “I know, I know Mom- it’s my karma…..’  For a moment I thought he may have had a breakthrough in his understanding of Universal law, but as he got his clean pants on and headed back to class, in true Ajay fashion he cast a quick look back at me and got the last word in, ‘ You know Mom, it may have been karma…. but it was still really funny…’

And with that joie de vivre comment, he and his karma disappeared into a throng of bustling third graders…