Raising Children and this Uncertain World
I kissed my kids “good night”, walked into the living room and found out about the missile launches at Syria. Rising tension with North Korea, the decimation of the EPA... These days the innocence and hope of time with my children coexist precariously with an imminent feeling of doom about the direction of the world. How do you do it? How do you infuse them with a sense of trust and inspiration when you find yourself despairing over the world they’ll inherit?
It changes day by day for me, and sometimes it’s all I can do to get them fed and off to school. But, when I really look deep, I know that the question is in itself a sign of privilege. I remember the people around the world who are enduring untold horrors in the most ravaged of countries. They can’t afford to ask the question. Hope is all they’ve got. It’s not pretty or poetic. It’s just the way you get up every day and keep on going.
Anyway, I’m not looking to buffer my kids from the reality of the world. I want to show it to them slowly, as they’re ready, in the context of love, patience and resilience. I want them to know it and love it for the ratty, scary, beautiful, sun-scorched, painful, precious, tender world that it is. That means staying open to all of it myself. And, feeding myself so I can go on to be a force of good in this life.
So, I’ll take the full body hugs, the wonder of discovery, the nuzzle of my dog’s snout, or the sense of purpose that comes from working little by little to make the world a kinder place. Those are the seeds that spring from and nourish hope. And, I try to remember that those things happen every day all over the world in some of the most unexpected places.
Prayers for Syria today.