Parenting is hard. It gets harder with each generation. Most things get easier, but I think parenting is the one thing that will never evolve. There was a post recently comparing the ’70s and 80s verses kids of today. It spoke of how we were able to run around until the street lights came on, how we ran over to our friends’ houses, explored in the woods, we were not on leashes – we were free. We were able to live without fear that there were bad people in the world. Oh, there were bad people, but they were not on our street. They were lurking somewhere in the shadows of places we did not venture. We also did not know about these things. Media was not on the corner of every single moment in all of our lives. We could be free to live without fear because we did not know to be fearful. There were not shootings all around us, there were not men trolling for young girls to kidnap them and sell them in their sex trafficking ring. No, the world was a much safer place.
Back in the 80s moms and dads were not watching us like hawks.
Today – today it is different. Everywhere you turn someone if being shot or abducted. Sex trafficking is one of the top growing industries in the US. Terrorists are marching in any place to make a statement in support of the sick beliefs they have. A lady was shot at 10:30 in the morning at the mall. No where is sacred anymore. Kids are taken from their yards, Target, or parking lots. Today all of our safe places seem unsafe and could be tainted at anytime.
Today we watch our children like hawks because one glance away could end in catastrophe. We don’t let our kids have the freedom they once had because we can’t.
BUT we can’t let ourselves live in fear. We cannot simply miss out on the beauty this world has to offer because of fear. There are beautiful places and beautiful people that we will miss out on if we simply lock ourselves up.
Terrible things are going to happen. We can do our best to take precautions and be smart because there are things we can avoid by being alert. There are also times when we should be able to let our guard down a little. If you have read my blog for a long time you know that I lost a child. Thankfully I did not have a mob of angry people throwing stones and blaming my uterus or me for not keeping my baby safe. There are other things that have happened that could have ended worse than they actually did. I’ve closed my child’s fingers in the door, pinched legs with car seats, watched them grab keys off a desk – run – and then poke their eye, one has had their head stuck in bars, one walked into a pool while 20 adults had their backs turned, and I could go on. The point is, any of these things could have ended with devastating results. I also consider myself a semi-helicopter parent. I watch and I prepare for the “what ifs” in life.
The point is, the things listed above, they could happen to anyone. When tragedies happen we need to be there to support each other, not cast blame, not to lash out on the grieving parents, to make them relive the grief over and over. People are always looking for ways to make themselves feel better or more superior. We make a mistake? Ok great, but look at what that person did – it was way worse. That’s what we do to make our lives and ourselves feel better.
When tragedies strike we need to be that shoulder to cry on – not the ones beating a dead horse. The parents of Lane, the boy taken by the alligator in Disney, have suffered enough. They are suffering enough without your bullying and pointed fingers. Take yourself out of the equation. Stop thinking about what you would have done or not done because you were not there and you have no idea what you would have done. Just stop. What should you do? Give grace, give love, give support. CARE about others instead of taking a moment to make yourself feel better.