Raising Kids in a Scary World

Something is weighing on me tonight. The house is quiet, and my kids and husband are all peacefully asleep. The only sound is that of the dog snoring.

I can’t stop thinking about a video I saw of ABC’s Frank Reynolds reporting on the solar eclipse of February 26, 1979 – he said, “May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.”

Such beautiful words with such a beautiful wish.

Perhaps it’s because the world today seems full of turmoil and unrest that his words are sticking with me.  There is so much strife at every turn; blatant racism, intolerance, nuclear warfare tests… the list goes on and on. I have literally stopped watching the news. I am an anxious person by nature and this, all of it, sets that anxiety off.

Yet, I’m raising two precious babies – I can’t just ignore what is going on in our world. How do I raise them to be genuine, kind, accepting and loving people? It certainly doesn’t start with ignorance.

Reading about events that occurred in 1979 seems eerily familiar. Many countries, including the US were performing nuclear tests. China invaded Vietnam, the Greensboro Massacre took place in the US and 63 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran. There was unrest in the Middle East, the first anthrax attack occurred in Russia, a powerful Tsunami devastated Nice, France and 13 tornadoes tore through the Midwest. On the upside, in 1979, Michael Jackson released his first solo album including the top hit “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, ESPN launched on cable TV, New Orleans experienced “the best Mardi Gras Ever” with NOLA PD on strike and Drew Brees was born!

But best of all, snow, yes SNOW, actually fell in the Sahara Desert.

There will always be good and evil. It’s part of our world. I believe it is how we choose to live through it that defines us and will ultimately shape our children. Through all the despair there will undoubtedly be incredible things happening, like snow in a desert!

Today when I picked up my Elizabeth, she flat out refused to let me buckle her into her car seat. It was HOT. She pitched a FIT. She was mad and I was mad. We may have exchanged a few choice words; well after all, she is my child… I finally gave up and went to sit in the front seat. After a few tears she calmly said, “Mom, we forgot to take our deep breaths.” So we did just that. Sat in a hot, parked car, and breathed…. we just breathed.

 My beautiful children enjoying a (rare) quiet moment together in the park

My beautiful children enjoying a (rare) quiet moment together in the park