Thursday, April 10, 2014

Please don't take my sunshine away ...

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine,

You make me happy
When skies are gray,
You'll never know dear
how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

The other night, dear,
While I lay sleeping,
I dreamt I held you in my arms,
When I awoke dear, I was mistaken,
And I hung my head down and cried ...

I've been singing this song under my breath a lot today after the recent stabbings at a school about an hour away from where I live. One of my greatest fears since my children bloomed into this world is that their little lights might be put out by some set of circumstances beyond my control. I do whatever I can to protect them. I don't let them play outside when I'm not out there with them. I hold their hands in the parking lot. I make them wear their seatbelts. I put covers on all of the outlets. I've taught them not to talk to strangers. Despite all of that, there could be that one moment when they wake up inside of someone else's bad dream. Everything I have done to bring them safely into this world and to shield them from all the bad in it could be gone just like that. Poof.

Sometimes, it seems to me that trying to protect your kids from the world outside is like pulling the blanket over your face at night when you're afraid there are monsters under your bed. What good is that blanket going to do? That said, I also don't want my children to grow up fearful of the world outside our door. There are so many wonderful things to be experienced, but to experience them, we have to put ourselves in contact with other people, people who are different than us, believe in different Gods and political systems, and conduct themselves according to a different code. I vow to refuse to live as a victim of fear.

All I can do this morning is offer up this little song like the prayer that it is. And hug my kids and teach them to be kind to others, to be brave, ... and to be tolerant. ~A/J

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