I have typed and deleted and typed and deleted at least a dozen sentences here this morning. Not one of them said what I want to say.
To use the word “overwhelmed” seems trite and insignificant.
The word “unsettled” comes close, but doesn’t quite hit it on the head.
“Angry” works too, but it’s still too general.
It seems every time I turn on the tv or radio, open my Facebook or Twitter…something is wrong somewhere close to me. Someone is hurting. People are dying. The cowards are gaining ground; no longer sitting in the shadows.
I feel as though the world is broken somehow, and we are so tiny in it…trying to stand up against forces of darkness we can’t even begin to overcome. How do we win?
And the bigger, and maybe even more important question is, how do we teach our children to be brave enough to win? How much of the turmoil that surrounds them do we share with them? How much do they need to know to be equipped to keep themselves prepared, capable of standing strong?
We are grown-ups. We see the darkness and try desperately to shield our children from it and keep them safe. Everyday. My smallest children do not know of the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook. They do not know of the monsters who caused mayhem and destruction at the Boston Marathon this week.
I want them to feel safe.
I want them to play and joke and be free. I want them to know their mama will be there to make them dinner and pack their lunches. I want them to dream of what it is to be a writer, an astronaut, a fireman, or a race car driver.
I want them to sleep at night.
But how do I teach them courage? How do I teach them to see it through, even when they know they’re licked? When they are standing in front of insurmountable opposition, how will they find the strength to just keep doing what they know is right? And how do I keep their little spirits safe?
Oh boy. These are big questions. And what I dislike the most about them is that they even have to be asked.
I still don’t know how much of the awful to share with my own smalls, but I do know this…
My kids can and will do hard things. I’ve seen it. I will continue to see it.
They will need courage. The real, struggling-through-the-tears-to-do-the-right-thing- and-never-give-up kind of courage. And though I may not always be able to keep them safe, I can teach them what it is to be kind, honest, careful, and brave.
To be their best selves. And to not be afraid.
Thanks for stopping by,
Arlee, Small Potatoes