Look at this girl: sweet, the picture of innocence.

Image Credit: My Mother 🙂

Don’t you want to protect her? Swaddle her in the innocence that can be childhood? Shut out the ugly, terrible things and allow her to be enveloped in loving embraces, sweet family, cuddly kittens.


What if this child was your child? Wouldn’t you want to protect her, shield her from the harsh realities of the world?


What many parents do: they attempt to keep the harsh, yet fatally flawed, beautiful world at bay. Is this wrong? Is it right?

It’s Life

What if you throw your children into the fray? Embrace the ragged edges of life, the harsh realities of life, death, divorce, relationships. Does it help children become more resilient or cause them duress?

It’s Complicated

I look at my sweet sons and realize I vacillate within two extremes and try to navigate being “real” and being insulative. Let’s face it — as an adult, I don’t want to know some of the horrific realities in the world. As a parent, I need to slowly allow my children grow into the knowledge of what is in the world.

Kelly with her 12-year birthday.jpg
Image Credit: My Mother 🙂

If I allow them to live in a dream-like world, insulated from the real pain and suffering affecting people daily, am I really giving them the life experiences to become empathetic adults? Am I allowing them to appreciate the lives they have? Will they become men who want to contribute positively to the world, be happy, healthy, loving human beings?

It’s a balancing act

Balancing the need to empower children, my young adults, with information and providing them to tools to learn, research, investigate the issues of the world. To find out more about the background of nations, peoples, issues and educate themselves, make decisions, think of the greater good.

I am that beautiful girl

And at the end of the day, I realize I see these images of myself as a child and think: childhood is fleeting. Be kind to myself. Be kind to my children. Be kind to others. The adage of walking in someone else’s shoes — we can never truly do that; we can be kind to one another.

Grace and Space

Children are innocent, beautiful, amazing. Children are our future – they will continue to shape our world. The more we open the world to them, the more we need to focus on laying the groundwork of our values for them from birth, as young children, and slowly filter the world into their lives. Demonstrating how we can make small changes in our lives to impact the lives of others; these small, regular efforts continue to build the fabric of empowered community involvement providing continuity into adulthood.

So when I saw young men today, in the park, throwing marshmallows at a car: was it a big deal? Well, not really…except my children were with my husband and I. They are young men themselves. If we see something, and say nothing, we are communicating everything is normal — it’s okay. We might as well agree with the action.

What if it had been rocks? What if they were tormenting animals, children, women?

Standing up for what is right

So I walked up to them and asked them to stop, not to litter. They laughed at me, ignored me, made fun of me. I took pictures, video, and informed them that their parents certainly didn’t raise them to behave in such a way and they, and I, expected them to pick up their litter. I asked them to do it immediately or I would contact the non-emergency police. They said they would pick it up if I would leave. After ensuring I had images of their faces, the vehicle, and the license plate, I called the police. I could almost hear the dispatcher laughing into the phone, but it was important. It was important for our children to see an adult stand up to teenagers, keep her cool, but insist on keeping our park clean and being good members of the community.

We walked away, but I wasn’t sure anything positive would happen.I was disheartened to think that my children would think of this as a lark – of a couple of teenagers “trashing” our park. I was concerned they would mentally check it off as “okay” in the future for such behavior to occur or, *GASP*, be inclined to do it themselves.

Perish the thought!

We walked around a path and I had decided I’d just pick the marshmallows up myself, encourage the family to help, and we’d focus on keeping our park clean. However, to my astonishment, upon our return…

…the marshmallows were gone!

Well, except for 3…but I happily picked them up. The boys had backed their car up after we began walking away, but I didn’t honestly think they had done anything but continued goofing around and drove away. Let me tell you, I called that dispatcher back. I told her how heartened I had been by the boys act of maturity, responsibility, and {perhaps} fear. I was able to tell my boys that we all make mistakes, we all go with the crowd, we all have those times when we make bad decisions. But,

We also have the power to make it right.

Beginning with a solid moral foundation, our children can grow to become capable young men and women who lead our world tomorrow. But for now, I’m going to just hold them close, love them for the children they are – the men they are becoming, and keep trying to make more good decisions than bad. To let them in on when I make mistakes and what I try to do to make it right. To let them know I am perfect in my imperfection. To allow my hot mess self acceptance so they can accept their own true person.

I hope beyond hope that I do more good than not, but at the end of the day: it’s a crapshoot. I pray for guidance, love my family, try to do good, and leave the rest to God.


2 thoughts on “Insulating

  1. “But for now, I’m going to just hold them close, love them for the children they are – the men they are becoming, and keep trying to make more good decisions than bad”

    Love this! In the end it is a lot and makes all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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