Monday, April 22, 2013

Times Like These

Toddlerhood seems tragic enough most days, top that off with actual national tragedy and well, you'll find most mothers carrying a heavy heart. But as I was glued to the live-stream of the Boston Manhunt on my computer while simultaneously drafting motions for work Friday, the lines of life begin to blur together: the reality of our fallen world and the protective bubble we enclose ourselves in with our children.

Sunny days, park trips, finger painting and cake-pops fill the lives of the children in these parental bubbles. But the reality of our fallen world shows a darker picture of a child. One who, despite his apparent traditional upbringing, has seen moments in his life no mother could ever dream.

We're drawn to every step of breaking news during these moments. From the outside looking in, a picture of Brandon and I would be the pair anxiously on the edge of the couch debating tactical preparations of the FBI, comparing reasoning logistics behind the Boston bombings and checking social media for the latest 140 character update. 

And then there's Jackson. Our innocent child, whom I by all means want to shield from this reality. 

At this moment in life I'm so thankful I can turn the television off, open the blinds and hold my child tight knowing he's none the wiser. He's still too young to see, to understand, to comprehend the trials our nation has seen in the last week. 

The days of our innocence are much more appreciated in our later years, this is no secret. My initial reaction is to shield Jackson completely from such tragedy, but to shield him completely in life would be a disservice to him. How will he ever know or see the need for help, if he does not witness any hurt?

And so, I thank the Lord he's still too young to understand and brace myself for the years ahead of us. For now, I'll turn off CNN switch the DVR to Little Einsteins and skip around singing the latest Fresh Beat Band song. 

Jackson will be far more aware of our reality and much less aware of his innocence, in the blink of an eye. How we handle these moments of tragedy in the presence of our children now will have every impact on their actions in the future. Sometimes the lines blur, our bubbles burst and we must readjust our vision of a perfect life, an American life. 

In times like these, we must remember it's not just about the here and now; it's about the innocence of our children and how we work to preserve and prepare them for all occasions of life. In times like these, we hold them closer, we pray for them harder and we hope their hearts are humbled when the time comes that the fallen world enters their sunny bubbles.

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