The Graeae Sisters and My Two Boys
When I was a young girl, I loved Greek mythology. There are things in Greek mythology that could be considered disturbing– a father eating his own children (Cronus); a great and menacing beast devouring young men and women trapped in a dank, dark maze (the Minotaur); and good ole wholesome bestiality (Zeus and Leda, Pasiphae and the bull).
But the story that resonated with me the most, the one that provoked the most visceral reaction of disgust was the story of The Graeae Sisters. The hero Perseus encountered them on his way to kill Medusa. The Graeae Sisters were three terribly old women. Between them they had one tooth and one eyeball…so they took turns. I don’t even like seeing someone else’s used chewing gum in the trashcan. I can’t imagine sharing a tooth…or worse an eyeball.
The Graeae Sisters took the beautiful concept of sharing and made it into something really, really icky.
The Graeae Sisters (Image Courtesy of Ray Jackson)
And that brings me to my sons. The other week, I was giving infant Dyson a bedtime bath. Older brother Sagan was helping me out by supervising and pumping out the soap. Eventually, Dyson realized he was getting a bath.
“Baby crying,” Sagan announced.
“That’s right, Dyson’s crying,” I said as I picked up my pace.
All of a sudden, Sagan pulled the pacifier out of his mouth and offered it up to Dyson. SLUUURP! Dyson immediately accepted the gift and started sucking away.
Now this was an amazingly kind and thoughtful gesture for a toddler, particularly one who is completely binky-obsessed. Extremely sweet. Externally I kept my cool. But internally, my reaction was akin to the one I have when I think of those shriveled old women passing around a tartar-covered tooth and a slimy cataract-ridden eyeball:
P.S. The artwork above by Ray Jackson is available as prints and notecards at RedBubble.com