Thoughts on a world full of tragedy
School took place from late August until the end of May, but summer was when you got your education.
It was July of 1994 and we were free. A two-wheeled Huffy gave my brother and I all the freedom we could ever need. We’d bike down 2 streets and knock at the door of my brother’s friend, then zigzag on to the next house, our numbers growing each time.
An empty acre of grass beckoned — for 2 hours I was one of the boys. Sitting in deep centerfield, I alternated between catching fly balls and picking weeds. We’d stop at home and rummage through Dad’s change jar for dimes so we could buy ourselves a nutritious lunch of Jo-Jos from the corner market- 10 cents a piece.
Those were the glory days. We owned our time and felt as though we owned the world, nevermind we had $12.87 in our piggy banks and ate Ritz crackers as though they were a staple of survival.
We knew nothing but living life.
It is 22 years later and the Ohio humidity hasn’t changed one bit. I’m now the proud owner of two vehicles, 4 bikes and enough Chinese plastic in my garage that know that while I may not own the world, I certainly own enough of it’s junk.
The news is heavy again.
Before I’ve had my toast, my newsfeed reminds me these are dark days. There is hate and violence and death. How long, Oh Lord?
I’m not the little sister anymore, I’m the mom to a little girl and her two older brothers. And while the day-to-day parenting doesn’t change, the times feel like they have.
Maybe the incidents of violence have not increased, but the 24-hour news reminds us everyday of the sad state of our hearts.
Orlando. Nice. Dallas. Minneapolis.
The kids are engrossed with Teletubbies so I take my coffee up the stairs and turn on the TV in my bedroom. I’m not ready for my children to know these things– to hear the manner in which so many lives were lost.
The truth- Motherhood changes your perspective. Men that were killed, those are your husband. How do you explain this to your children? An 11-year old run over by a truck? How do you wrap your head around the sick soul that ended the lives of 10 children? Mothers weep for the mothers who have lost a piece of their heart.
It’s 4 pm and the baby is up from her nap and we’re in the backyard. It is the heat of the day. The blondie’s cheeks turn a bright shade of red.
I watch him swing higher and higher. He’s learned how to get himself started, to pump his legs. His t-shirt cape flaps in the wind. He is 4 years old, but just like his momma once felt, he knows he owns the world.
I pray, “Oh God, help me to focus on this moment. The joy. The element of carefree.”
My nature is the nurture them in tighter. To hold on. To stay in and hide them from the bad that can happen.
Are my children worried? Do they know? Do we change our outlook when we step away from social media and Dateline and the “Summer of Chaos” and instead look at the summer through the eyes of our children?
My children trust in us (their parents) for their safety and then fully enjoy their life. I too, can trust my Heavenly Father and then go forth. Be free. If I’m living for heaven and not for today, I have nothing to fear- for myself or my children.
The long days of summer just got a little sweeter.