Recently the topics of life, growing up, growing old, and death has come up a lot in our house. This matter has been punctuated by the death of our beloved family goldfish, who is now buried in our backyard. I'll also be the first one to admit that I've been listening to the news more often than I should be, particularly in the presence of little ears, even though I routinely need to shut off the radio and wipe away tears whenever I hear Jennifer Neville Lake talk about the loss of her father and three children at the hands of a drunk driver, I can't help but listen. Maybe I should take a break as Molly has been asking me a lot of hard to answer questions like, "Can a person make me die?" and "Why would someone want to make someone else die?"
|My favourite Mr. Rogers Quote|
It's easy to wallow and to focus on the bad in this world, so much so that we can lose sight of all of the good. Yes the news has made me cry, and it's made me downright furious as a woman, mother and person on this planet. I wouldn't wish the tragedies that have befallen in Brussels, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Chad, Turkey or Jennifer Neville Lake on anyone.
A friend of mine commented on Facebook about how parenthood has increased her tender heart and made her feel things even harder and deeper, which makes all of the tragedy we see even scarier. The amount of love I have experienced since Molly and Jack have been born is unreal, and that isn't just parental love, it's love as a friend, daughter, sister and spouse. Parenthood aside, Maybe I'm just growing up, maybe I'm growing soft, but I am more aware of everything today than I was just a few years ago.
Here are some things that I want to share, that I've learned, been reminded of, and want to teach Molly and Jack, because we can all make a difference, even when things may feel otherwise.
- I won't always be able to protect you but I will always try my hardest to.
- I will do my best to be honest with you, always. Even when you ask me tough questions that I don't have the answer to. That's what Google's for, right?
- Bravery isn't always rewarded and bad people get away with terrible things, but I will believe you, and believe in you, even if others or the legal system does not.
- When you feel helpless, I will try my best to empower you and when things get tough and I'm not there, look for the helpers, and try to be a helper yourself.
- No matter how short or long our time is together know that I love you truly, deeply, in a way that words could never describe.
- Being respectful of adults doesn't mean that grown-ups aren't accountable for their actions. If someone does or says something that you think is wrong or makes you feel bad, please, please, please, tell me.
- I will always defend you, just like Little Foot's mother defended him from Sharp Tooth.
- It doesn't matter how angry I am, I will always love you.
- Your body belongs to you, period.
- I will come and pick you up, pay for a cab or uber (or whatever) no matter what. Even if (when) I complain (a lot) I won't be mad, and would rather drive across the country to get you if it meant that you didn't drink (or smoke) and drive or get in the car with someone who has.