Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mayberry it isn't.

Sometimes I wonder if bringing a child into this world is a completely selfish act. Like is it just something that we do because we think we're supposed to? Or because we need the title of "Mom" or "Dad" to complete us?

My child is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. By far. But it terrifies me to let her out into this world that I brought her into.

A world where she can no longer ride her bike down to a friends house. A world where her classroom is not safe. A world where fifth graders know what sex is and are probably having it.

Will she even get to have a childhood?

Every day I turn on the tv, or the computer, or heck, even Twitter, I'm blasted by breaking news of shootings, robberies, abductions, and political mess. The world is in turmoil and it terrifies me to think of my little one trying to navigate her way in it.

Baby sitters practically need background checks. School shooting are on the rise. And then there's this.

I try to be a person who genuinely thinks there is good in every person. But with my child around, I have a hard time doing that anymore. I am so cautious for her.

And that's not even fair to her.

When I was growing up, I ran away once. I ran all the way to the other end of the street where I hid in my best friend Nick's mom's closet. After what felt like forever (but in reality was probably a half hour), my Mom came and found me. She was calm and collected as she brought me back home and explained why running away was not a good idea.

Then she probably cut my butt, but that's neither here nor there.

My point is this; my mother's first thought was not that I'd been abducted. She wasn't worried that I'd been raped or murdered. She had found out where I was with one quick phone call (which I hadn't known about) and then she'd come and gotten me after we'd had some time to calm down.

That would never happen now a days.

A few weeks ago my friend Jenn's two year old unlocked the front door and walked the .2 miles down the road to her grandparents house.

In the ten minutes it took to find her, Jenn pictured a number of different scenarios that happened to her child. She was in a flat panic. Fortunately all was fine and mother and daughter were soon reunited.

Quite a different picture from me running away twenty years ago.

Every night I pray for my child. I pray that she's safe and taken care of and that most importantly, she gives her life to God at an early age. Because her Dad and I did bring her into a scary, scary world. We will do everything in our power to keep her safe, but we can only do so much.

We no longer live in Mayberry folks.

I beg of you to pray for your children. To be involved in their lives. Talk to them. Question them daily about what they're doing and who they're doing it with. Love them. They should always know that their parents have their backs.

My little one and her entire generation have a tough road ahead of them.

Pray for those affected by the shooting today. Pray for our country.


Carolyn said...

I completely understand that fear. I work with children who have been victims of crimes every single day. That's a lot of kids. That said, I'm making a conscious effort not to raise my child in a way that she will be afraid of everything and everyone. I still feel that while we need to be smart and careful about what we do (and teach our children to be smart and careful) the majority of people are still good people who want to do right. My own two cents is that I think that the media adds fuel to the flame of fearing everything and everybody and that watching the news everyday makes you not want to trust anybody...which is why I don't watch tv. Yeah, yeah. People may tell me that I live in a bubble, but I'm happy in my bubble thank you very much. :)

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

That shooting is just awful - it's big news even way over here in New Zealand.

I wish we still did live in that idyllic world where unlocked doors were par for the course. Now, I wouldn't hire a babysitter unless she was vetted and vouched for by a good friend or I had done a background check on her. There are all sorts of crazy stuff that happens. There was recently a story in NZ about a family who'd hired a sitter through an agency. The father left some work at home so came back about mid-morning to find their infant alone in the house, screaming. The sitter had left to do some shopping! Unbelievable!

We definitely worry about our little one even though their not yet out in the world. Lots of praying!

No Longer Newlyweds. said...

I stay awake and night thinking about this. Since I work with 7-12 graders, I hear all the crap that goes on. I can hardly believe some of it.
I don't think we are selfish for bringing a child into this world. We just have to be more protective and more proactive than in the past.
Porter and I picked a certain area of town keeping in mind where we wanted our children to grow up. You would never believe, but in this part of Vegas...there are tree-lined roads, gated neighborhoods and a strong church community. For the most part, I don't leave this part of town because I know what is going on a mile down the road. Jude is signed up for home preschool program because I don't want him in a public preschool for the first 2 years...but, when he does have to actually go to school...we've already moved to the area with the good schools. It's all about planning...not for what you want, but for what is best for your child. I'm glad you are feeling the need to get involved with a church (mine is always open!) and I think that's a great place to meet your friends and E's friends. Form playgroups and get to know the parents of the children E will be playing with. I have. Trust no one that you haven't spent a ton of time with.
Girl...I could go on forever. I've worked this entire year preparing for Jude...because of the worries you are having. It's normal.
The world is a good place. There are just bad just got to avoid them.
Hang in there.
Email me.

Brown Girl said...

It is such a different world that we live in now. I worry constantly about my little bro and sis. They are subjected to SO MANY scary things...all I can do is pray that we have brought them up to be strong and say NO. I think you have a good outlook on it, BG will do good but I agree, stay involved in her life because it's a big scary world out there.

Kassie said...

I agree with just about everything you wrote here. I could probably write a book of a comment about this, but I'll try and restrain myself. (And it's something I'm pretty intense about, so I'm not sure I could form words correctly!) :)

I used to leave in teh morning on my bike, and not come home until dinner time. We'd be all over town, the pool, the river, wherever, and our parents had no worries. Now I probably wouldn't let a kid walk next door without staring out the window. I don't even like it when my 20-something friends get dropped off places; I wait in the car until they are indoors.

I think all the time about this: am I just an old-fashioned fuddy duddy who wishes things "were the way back then?". I babysit 10 year olds and they are doing far more "adult" things than they should even know what they are. When I lived in NZ the kids shocked me on the first day of school when they discussed (as 15 year olds) about how they had spent every night at their bf/gf's house, and didn't have the right school clothes. I'm sorry, but the idea that at 12-15 you are old enough to spend every.single.night (or any night!!) at your bf's house is not ok with me. My friends thought my parents were so weird that they wouldn't let me stay at my bf's house. I said I was ok with it, since I was only 17!! And didn't want to anyway.

And now I'm ranting and not making sense. Basically, sometimes I wish I could move to the South where people still "try" and hold on to the ideals I value so much. It's hard here in CA where it's not like that.

Ok, I'll stop now. :) I don't think I made much sense!! :)

xoxo :)

Jennifer said...

I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! Especially after what happened to that little girl in Arizona who was shot and killed. I try not to think about the evil in this world too much. It's also hard for me to realize that I won't be able to protect Sawyer forever!


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