Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I want so much to provide my children with... a kind of childhood that doesn't exist anymore

It is now when I need to treasure the simple things. The pride on my daughter's face when she's promoted to Shark, the only 6 year old, in her swimming class. The day my son hands me a note, the letters a struggle, but they line up to say...To mommy. I love you mommy. I love you mommy. The warmth of my husband's skin. The patient ear of a friend who really listens when I go on and on...

We do not live in innocent times. We live in dangerous times. Whether destructive tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis or human beings killing thousands of people, sometimes it seems that the world has gone crazy.

Often, the reality of the environment in which we are raising our children seems to mock our endeavors. Our quest seems illusory and unrealistic. I want so much to provide my children with...a kind of childhood that doesn't exist anymore.

But, I can't give up. Every child needs that time. To feel safe within your arms. To believe that you are everything, and all things. That we can conquer the Darth Vader's of our world and in our own psyches.

Later, not much later, but later... we will talk of how things are not as simple as good guys and bad guys. That there is relief when someone can no longer plot evil things, but that doesn't make it all OK. That we are not innocent in our doings, much as we like to think that of ourselves. Layer upon layer upon layer...

So, for today, I will encourage their silliness, and join them in their moment-to-moment experience of how they see the world. Here, there are good guys and bad guys. Life is black and white. The grey will come later. Right now, their world is tidy or messy. And, we can always clean up. They need that simplicity, and I need it, more than ever...

JCK also has a Featured Member Post, "Can We Stop Using the Word Tramp,” in the Family topic on BlogHer.com this week. Come join the discussion!

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  1. You're so right - the thing I am most struck by is that I walked 3 blocks to school and we have to get in the car and drive. Also the fact that I was prowling the neighborhood with my friends - we'd run all over and play in our back yard, or Christine's back yard, or Eleanor's back yard. We were 6. And we were perfectly safe. But as you say, there are ways to recreate it, and just because they don't have that experience, they also can't grieve for it because they don't know what it was like. And we'll give them different ones.

  2. If you look at the statistics, these are not more dangerous times. This is the safest time in the history of mankind in which to live. It's just the damn 24/7 news coverage.

    And to Janet above--they CAN walk and ride bikes to school. It really is safe. My kids did it not so long ago.

  3. I am finding it never feels like my kids are ready for the grey. It's one of those really unpleasant parts of growing up.

    I was lucky as a kid - grew up with a lot of space, house surrounded by farmland and acres and acres of woods. I spent so much time wandering aimlessly, laying in fields, finding nests of baby rabbits, not a care in the world. I am lucky now, too, that we live in a neighborhood surrounded by fields, where my kids are free to wander. We can't afford every new gadget or a luxury car but the freedom to roam is a blessed thing.

    Have a wonderful Mother's Day, JCK!


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