The world feels crazy these days. I guess it’s always been unhinged, but as a child I was fairly immune to it. The thing about right now is that our children need to be aware. They know about stacking desks at their classroom doors in case an intruder comes to school to hurt them. My eldest described this great tool one of her teachers has that attaches to a window and then shatters it with the pull of a string, so they can escape their classroom. That was a SEAL thing to me, when I was a kid. Until recently, our children have not watched the news. It was our way of protecting them, I guess. But we’re at a point now where they’re hearing about it from friends and we would rather they hear about it with us.
Our oldest was asking me about the shooting in Vegas, why someone would do that. We had similar talks after Paris and Orlando and San Bernardino and on and on. It scares her. She asked how often this happened when I was little. Our 11 year old was stunned that mass shootings were not the norm in the eighties. What a luxury, when tornado drills were the scariest thing. It makes me feel sad, thinking about this world we’re passing on to our children.
Having sad or scared mom isn’t going to help them, though. We’re needing to step up in a different way in this era of parenting. We’ve got screens to pry eyes away from, constant access to peers speaking into their lives via social media, music and television that BEG to be discussed and not just consumed. We parents have so many things vying for our attention- work, social commitments, our kids’ schedules, keeping up with everyone else so the kids don’t feel left out. Something has to change or this wild world will raise our kids for us. Our scared kids will see unavailable grown ups and instead of talking to them, they’ll try to make sense of it on their own.
We are far, FAR from perfect in any of this. We have been guilty of using our phones too much around our kids, saying yes to every invitation they receive because it sounds fun/makes them feel included, over committing them and ourselves, placing church or extended family ahead of the ones who need us the most. God has recently asked me to be more intentional with our kids. Even when I’m tired… play that game, read that book, answer that question. Viewing our kids as a blessing, calling, and appointment instead of an interruption or inconvenience. Putting the phones down. Saying no to invitations so we can be with each other. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I NEVER GET IRRITATED (ask my kids and my husband and anyone who has spent any time with us). It just means I’m trying, and leaning on the grace of God a whole awful lot!
With the world getting wilder, our kids need home. They need parents. Most of all, they need Jesus. We’ve had to reevaluate some things lately to make the space our kids need. We’ll have to do it again and again as the years go on. And we’ll make mistakes and so will our kids, but we’re going to keep trying and know that God’s grace will cover the stumbling. Our kids are worth fighting for-and so are yours.