As any parent would be, I am reeling from the tragic events of recent days. As the mother of an elementary school student as well as older kids, I find it incomprehensible and heartbreaking that anyone could harm young children.
Now more than ever, I find it important to diligently follow my own advice, and never part with my children on unpleasant or angry terms. We all know the drill: it’s morning and the family is scrambling to get beds made, lunches packed, breakfasts eaten, and backpacks filled with the day’s books and supplies. It can be a mad dash with tempers flaring to ensure that everyone gets to where he or she needs to be on time and fully prepared to face the day. Sometimes goodbyes are rushed, cursory, or not very pleasant.
I’ve always reminded my kids that it’s not in anyone’s best interest to part on adversarial terms. Life is uncertain; while the vast majority of the time, the course of our daily lives goes as according to plan, occasionally our worlds are shaken by tragedy, both far away and close to home. One thing that is certain is that the future is inherently uncertain, which is why it’s important to me to make sure that everyone I care about – children and adults alike – knows without a ripple of doubt how I feel about them.
This can be difficult when everyone is in a rush. Even the little things can set off controversy or bad feelings. The uproar that ensues when a library book can’t be found to return on Media Day. The unappreciated insistence that sneakers be worn on Gym Day no matter what the impact on the day’s fashion statement. The dispute over who gets the last blueberry muffin or the dregs of the orange juice in the carton. The anxiety over a difficult test. The iPad that wasn’t charged overnight. But when taken into perspective against the scope of a lifetime, are any of these concerns as enormously important as they might seem in the moment?
What is important is knowing where we stand with the people we love in our lives. I’m sure that right now, many people around the world are making sure to hug their children extra tight and send them off for the day with kind words of
encouragement. Let’s keep that up. Let’s make sure that we make an emphasis on closeness and caring paramount in our lives for the long term. And in doing so,
we just might be pouring a little more positive energy into the world of our children’s future.