I never knew how much motherhood would change me, in so many ways. We’ve talked before how we don’t really watch TV, and that usually I find myself on Twitter before turning on the news. I’ve never understood tragedy and the hate that the world has in it. It’s not something my heart has every been able to digest and understand, but as a mama to a sweet baby my thought process and alertness for tragedy has only heightened and make me more aware. I find things make me more aware and concerned – concerned for the hear and now and the future. I remember the 9/11 like it was yesterday that I was walking down the hallway of the school and I walked past a classroom with the television on and I just stared, captivated by the tragedy. I remember the Columbine Shooting and the girl that stood upon her faith not denying that she indeed believed in God right before she lost her life. Both tragedies, things that I couldn’t really comprehend and there was nothing that I could find that would validate such reasoning behind the maliciousness.
When I was pregnant with A there was the terrible shooting at the local theater killing many, and I found myself thinking about so many things, I wrote about that here. It wasn’t any longer just about the tragedy it was about the fact I was thankful we weren’t there and that my heart ached extra for the mama that lost both her unborn child and her eight year old daughter.
A few months before I was due to have A, a very, very dear friend of mine had a horrible experience with the local school of her kindergartner when the school lost her, and my heart broke making me think twice about what’s going on with schools these days. Broke my heart for my friend because I knew how much her heart ached, and not even meeting my own child yet I could only imagine the panic and the heart break she experienced.
A month after A was born the news of the Newtown Shooting happened and not only did I wonder who would do such things, but who would want to hurt those innocent babies. My heart ached for the parents, and honestly became fearful of the future that was becoming a reality. I wondered what the world would be like by the time A is old enough for school and made me consider other options for schooling.
Then Monday, I’m obliviously sending out A-List announcements when I see the hashtag… #bostonmarathon followed by the words “tragedy” and “prayers” and “bombing”. It was in those moments I learned what had happened. A day for so many trying to meet a goal, accomplish so many things. There are so many people who have it on their bucket list to run a marathon, it’s a great accomplishment. Finishing that event meant so many things to so many people, only to have that
The life that surrounds us is a different reality than what we grew up in. The last nine months of news shows. First jobs like pizza delivery isn’t thought of a safe easy job any more, but has recently been targeted as a reason to kill for a “good disguise”. Things I never would have thought twice about like the safety of public schools, or even letting my children out of a visual range to ride around the neighborhood on their bikes like we did as kids comes with the fear of who might be lurking or could take the kiddo. There will always be a little “what if” attachment with airplanes, malls, schools, large public events and movie theaters that I once never would have fathomed would one day exist, but it today’s reality they do.
We talk about this a lot, Ryan and I. How we yearn to keep A safe, that’s what we are supposed to do as parents. Protect our young. It’s how we are made, having children is something that changed our hearts in ways we didn’t see coming. A new part of us was born that we can’t imagine being without. We don’t live in fear because of these things, but it comes with this underlying whisper of what this world has to offer now days, and a yearning for our children to grow up in a time like we did as kids where we were able to be less fearful of what surrounded us – sure there was violence and crazies – but they were a bit less common than they are today.
Monday afternoon, I finally made myself shut off the television. I had this push to do so, like it was what my heart needed, so that’s what I did. I turned it off, I turned on some music and walked into the kitchen with A to get some dinner prep done. As I held her she looks me square in the eyes as she does, putting her hand up to my face and she smiled he r big gummy smile and the world stopped. The bad wasn’t going on if only for a moment, and instead I was captivated by the love of this little girl that I would do anything to keep safe, and it was like in that moment she was telling me she knew with all of her entirety that she was safe and she was happy.
I sat her in her bouncer and as I prepped dinner and I watched as she innocently stared, captivated by the simplicity of the snow falling, oblivious to the bad and the hatred in this world. I know that in time she will learn of the bad of the world, and I know that I will do anything at all to keep her safe, whatever that means – but I also know within that there is only so much I can protect, only so much Ryan can do to protect, the rest lays in His hands because He is the only ultimately in control. I know what it means to keep her safe will constantly evolve based on the world we live in, because honestly, I myself can’t comprehend why things are happening that are – but when it comes to keeping her safe, there isn’t a level we won’t go to. And when it comes time, when the day comes where she comes to us wondering why the bad things happen, I won’t have the answer because I don’t know why.
So, instead of teaching instead of teaching her to fear, we will teach her the have a heart for others, a heart that loves and heart that breaks for others and to look for the good. Look for the helpers in the bad situations, to be a helper when she can and to have a heart to love others, because that’s all we can do – try to bring up a generation that loves more than that destroy and all the while, her daddy and I will be protecting her with everything we have.