The first thought I have when I think about what my job is as a mother is to love my children. Of course it goes much deeper than that, and there are many more details to parenting, but I keep seeing this image of myself hugging my children. There are so many conflicts, frustrations challenges that all get resolved and the final finishing note is a hug. It doesn't cure all and it certainly can't fix everything, but it can help soften the blows a bit.
Recent current events have been horrifying. The trend of shootings in our world is a disgusting one. I really didn't think this would still be going on with this kind of frequency. It is difficult to see the future for my children without having to teach them some protective measures and "what if's" as they get older. My daughter is seven though and my son still just three. Neither knows of any violonce in the world. My daughter knows what war is, but only in the most general of ideas. Recently some military officers came to talk to her class about service, patriotism, etc. My knee jerk reaction was to be furious and that talking to children about gaining higher ranks in the military is the begining of recruiting. It glorified the job of "fighting for your country" and that they shouldn't have been allowed to speak to our children without permission. I spent a bit more time with the issue I had and realized that what was really bothering me was that it is my job to teach my children about war. Or is it?
As news soundbites come on the radio, or through people talking, or subtitles on a tv when we are out somewhere, very soon the questions will come. What is a shooting? Where did that happen? Will thathappen here? Or the most difficult question: Why mommy? I won't really have an answer for that one, because together with so many people we are all trying to figure that out. In the meantime I hope that when she sees or hears such horrible news that my husband and I are the ones she is hearing it from. For now she is so innocent and we love that she is still blissfully ignorant. I know those days will come to an end soon enough, and so they are precious.
It has been said by many that thoughts and prayers are not what is needed through these dark times. That the thoughts should be shifted to how we can change this problem and the prayers should be for peace. I was driving alone last night and listening to the radio when I spotted a billboard. It didn't have any words just a picture of a gun made out of rainbow sprinkles. Who exactly is this picture supposed to appeal to? I was in Hollywood where billboard after billboard appears before you even can digest one there are five more in front and behind it, but so many glorify violence. Hollywood specifically
glorifies gun violence. Where is the movement to quiet that down?
So with more shootings, the more likely we will be having conversations soon. I am sure when the idea of violence or war becomes less broad and she learns that each victim victim was family to someone, or that they didn't do anything to deserve something so awful, the questions and emotions will pour in. I don't think I can imagine the end of that conversation with anything to take away such ugliness or protect her from realty. I can and will though make her feel as safe as I can, and I cant imagine what would do that more than a hug.