Hakuna Matata

As dog-pupils go, Teddy is definitely the most dedicated in the class. He’ll perform tricks over and over for the SAME rawhide pencil. For Teddy it’s about attention as much as it’s about treats. He LOVES learning, cares about getting things right and performs every chance he gets. He’s also very affectionate and lovable. It’s fun walking him when the kids are in their yard, particularly the little girl for whom a sight of Bear and Teddy is as good as a Fourth of July Parade. The other day we were coming back toward our street from a training circuit of the high school and Michelle saw us. She stood absolutely still in her yard until we got there. I’d taught her not to run toward the fence because Bear would pull me down.

“Hi Teddy Bear! Hi Polar Bear!”

The dogs are happy to see her, but their happiness does not compare to hers at seeing them.

Is there really anything better than two friendly dogs and an old lady who enjoys talking to you? On that particular day, Michelle had just gotten two little stuffed animals — Simba and Nala. We talked about films and she encouraged me to see Lion King Two. She also highly recommended The Incredibles but I’m not sure that’s my cup of, of, chocolate milk. I didn’t even see The Lion King until I was in my 50s and teaching “The Allegory of the Cave.” One of my students said, “Professor, ‘The Allegory of the Cave’ is like The Lion King.” She brought her DVD to class and she was right. I loved it.

“I like the Hakuna matata part,” said Michelle.

Those are words my brother used to say when I was upset at him on the phone. Of course, they came through the exchange in a drunken voice with an edge. His “No worries” meant, “Shut up and leave me alone.” It was all well and good for him to say, “No worries,” but I was working my ass off supporting him.

“What was the name of that pig?” I asked Michelle.

“I don’t remember.” She looked a little worried.

“It doesn’t matter. He was cool though, don’t you think?”


Bear and Teddy were hot so I said we had to go home. We all walked together along her fence and she held Teddy’s leash over the top of the fence.

I recently learned from a friend that her young grandson has “come out.” I’m glad he is alive now and not 40 years ago. I’m glad it won’t, probably, be as harrowing for him as it was for many of my friends — and my boyfriend — back then. While I don’t think LGBTQ rights are the biggest item on the national agenda, I’m glad people in many parts of this country take them seriously. At the same time I have never understood why anyone’s sexual preferences are anyone’s business, but that’s how we are. And, while I don’t understand why ANYONE would want to get married, I’m glad those who do want to can. At the same time, I’m sorry for him. Even in the most enlightened world, he will live a kind of exile. Even I, straight and all, have lived a kind of exile just from not having children, not being married, not making the usual choices. I couldn’t have made those choices. I tried. As my boyfriend back in the day, a great love, in fact, said, “Who would choose this? Who would choose to live outside the world where 99% of humanity lives?” That won’t have changed, but maybe…

I’m impressed at the self-knowledge of my friend’s grandson. I hope everything good for him. Hakuna matata.

Thinking about that I thought about Michelle and Connor. A few years away from puberty and homeschooled, they’re still in the Garden of Eden. Their big-for-them back yard, their loving (though struggling) parents, big events like me and my dogs, freedom for their imagination, nothing worse happening to them than “time out”. Childhood isn’t easy, and for some children it’s very, very hard, but it still has the filaments of Heaven attached to it, the capacity for wonder. One of my most beautiful memories, toward the end of this past beautiful winter, during the bleak moments when the snow had begun melting, 😦 was Connor running in excitement to the fence saying, “We still have a bit patch of snow for Bear to roll in!”


19 thoughts on “Hakuna Matata

  1. Happy tears reading this line, childhood has “the filaments of Heaven attached to it, the capacity for wonder.

  2. […] As I read different blogs and comments somedays phrases pop off the page and attach themselves briefly, or more permanently, to my mind. Today was such a day. “…the filaments of Heaven attached to it, the capacity for wonder.” – MarthaKenndy.Blog […]

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