For YOU, Kids

Innocence

December 16, 2012

I have never been more anxious to pick up Diego from school like I was on Friday. Like so many people, especially parents, watching the news unfold from Newtown, Connecticut was absolutely dreadful. My carpool buddy met me to hand over Diego a few blocks from his school and I will never forget the knot in my throat and the stinging in my eyes when I saw her car pull up with our kids.

I hugged and kissed Diego and took him over to our car to drive him to his first soccer practice of the winter season. Rather than dropping him off at the sports facility and taking the opportunity to run errands for the next hour and a half, I just sat in disbelief and watched him from the benches…not once did I take my eyes off of him. Most of the other parents were there that night as well. Nothing else mattered on Friday than watching our 5,6 and 7 year-old babies start a new season.

My “almost-6-year-old” brought up something rather interesting on the way home from practice. I say interesting because he was unaware that something so tragic had happened in a place he and so many other children love. He asked me from his booster seat behind me, “Mommy, can Christmas ever be canceled?” I got goose bumps. Stunned, I looked over at him through my rear view mirror and said to him, “No sweetie. Nothing can cancel Christmas. Why do you ask?” He continued, “If we were to have another hurricane, wouldn’t it cancel Christmas?” My stomach flipped and my heart ached as I remembered that for the past two years his Halloween has been “canceled” due to hurricanes. How innocent and yet what an awakening for me to hear on that day that my son’s biggest fears come by the unpredictable force of Mother Nature. For us adults, fear now comes in so many more ways never imagined before.

I knew that for many people in Newton, Christmas will be dark this year. There may or may not be gift exchanges, holiday parties, or traditional feasts, but I had to tell Diego, that nothing in the world can cancel Christmas. Holding back tears, I told Diego that we must remember the reason for Christmas. The birth of Baby Jesus will be acknowledged, rejoiced and celebrated because He is the most important force in this world. Then I thought to myself: no hurricane, no act of Mother Nature and certainly no senseless act of madness can take away this upcoming special day. I told Diego that no matter what, we will always find a way to celebrate Him.

I’m not certain he was convinced. As adults we long for the days when we were young and without fear…but little children will have fears. I was reminded of that on Friday night, in my car unexpectedly, that kids are afraid sometimes and our most important job is to reassure them, comfort them and love them. I drove on determined to convince him and determined to have him trust me.

It seems like children are maturing much faster, are smarter and are losing their innocence at a greater pace than ever. Whatever it is we can do to prevent our kids from developing new fears…let’s try that. Please?

Wishing you a happy week…always.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Caro December 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I’m with you Betty! We gotta put the “Christ” back in “Christmas” and we have to give our children reassurance. Just the other day Franco asked me this… “Mommy, when I get older and get a job, are you going to stay home and watch my kids for me?” At first I thought it was the cutest thing and I simply replied to him “of course!” But now you got me thinking. He’s only 7 and should not be worried about 1. Getting older 2. Getting a job and 3. His children’s child care. Hmmm I wonder what he was thinking???

    • Betty
      Reply Betty December 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Hey Caro,
      Franco has probably heard you say, “I’m so lucky to have my mother-in-law” or something of that nature when describing the help and relief you express when someone is helping you with your children. The children are on it! They hear everything, feel everything…more than we know. And sometimes, like your situation, a very simple comment from you, they can take to heart.
      Don’t worry love. He has probably already forgotten! Continue to love, reassure, protect…all the good mama things you already do… xoxo

  • Reply isabella December 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Wow! Amazing, its true children are becoming our teachers of consciousness today, they are here for a reason to make the world a more loving and forgiving place… Always more than it has ever been. Love them!

  • Reply Liz A December 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    So true and sad. I also believe our society have in more ways than one influenced our children to have to grow up too fast. I always find myself relearning the simple things in life through my own children. Watching and observing them as they reach their milestones and always wondering what goes on in their little heads and how they process their little world. Kids learn about death at a young age, when a fish dies or an insect, but it is so different when they have to learn that death can occurs from other reasons too. Just before thanksgiving my 5 year old’s classmate lost his 16 year old brother because of cancer and another classmate has leukemia. I only wish I can shield them from all the negativity that happens in our society but sadly I can’t. Like you said on the other blog. My husband and I can’t do it alone. As they continue to grow they will see how cruel this world can be but I can teach them to be good, respectfull and responsible adults who can take accountability for their actions.

  • Reply Smile Again April 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

    […] the images and constant news updates, we too have to slowly recover. After the tragic events of Newton last December, I couldn’t help but feel guilty to sit here and type away, and honestly, […]

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