Friday, November 6, 2009

Holding on

I was going to blog about the ‘birthday season,’ which starts today in our families. Then came the news about Fort Hood.

Could I keep my media savvy younger teen son in the dark about this? Why was I even thinking that way? Protecting our children from knowledge about the evils in the world doesn’t protect them. And yet, even I, the mother so adept at letting go, sometimes want to cling so fiercely the physical ache is palpable.

On September 11th, 2001, my older son and his fifth grade classmates sat and watched as the airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers, the Pentagon and a field in southwest Pennsylvania. Some parents questioned whether their children should have been allowed to watch these events unfold. My husband and I, who met as journalism students in our very early 20s, agreed with the teacher’s decision. But that night we asked our son Erik, who is currently studying abroad in what used to be East Germany, his thoughts.

He told us, “We begged the teacher to keep the TV on. We had to know.”

Not knowing doesn’t prevent horrible things from happening. We cannot protect our children from all the evils in the world, no matter how badly we want to. Sometimes we’re immune even to protecting them in our own houses if something treacherous, like cancer or debilitating disease, strikes.

But we can inform, enlighten and educate them and love them…to pieces.

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