Sandhya Acharya: It's OK to Scream

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Sometimes it's okay just to let out a scream. Sandhya Acharya has this Perspective.

One afternoon, I watched as my nine-year-old paced the room. His face was creased, his body tight, and his fist clenched. I worried.

After the endurance test of the past two years, this summer was supposed to be a march out of darkness into the light. The light of maskless vacations, long-awaited reunions, new adventures, museums, boardwalks — the whole deal.

But things did not go as planned. Family health issues, travel restrictions, two rounds of COVID, and the ensuing isolation all meant reset adventures, postponed re-unions, and the continued cling of masks. While the world was beginning to move back to normal, it felt like we were stranded in the same dark tunnel. Everything felt out of control.

Had it all gotten to him? Perhaps it was time to talk.

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I gently called out to my son. “Is everything ok?” I asked. He grimaced. I tried to make eye contact. He waved me away.

His pacing was rising in tempo, and his yips, bellows, and growls in volume. I put a hand on his shoulder. He couldn’t ignore me now.

“What are you doing?” I demanded.

He turned to me, grinned, and said, “I am a dragon fighting the war.”
Then he reared his head, roared, and carried on.

It made me think. Who is to say how things ought to be? Life is messy, whether dragons like it or not. And so what if it feels like you are the only one fighting? A dragon wouldn’t care, so why should we?

Perhaps, what’s really important is the will to fight the glorious fight, and, a little bit of imagination. That part is always up to us.

Ultimately, when life gets messy, all we can do is choose our avatar and carry on.

“Hold on!” I called out to my son. “Can I join?”

And then we reared our heads, roared, and carried on.

With a Perspective, I’m Sandhya Acharya.

Sandhya Acharya is an author of children’s books.