April 17, 2007

Hug Your Kids

Yesterday was such a sad reminder that we live in a very cruel world where nothing is certain anymore. I'm not saying that there ever was a more innocent time but it's just getting ridiculous. Kids can't even get an education without being in danger.

You just never know when someone is going to snap and take numbers.

I respect my elders, I really do, but I keep hearing variations of the phrase that basically amounts to: "well, we did *it* and we survived." and it just frustrates me every time I hear it because all I can think to myself is "yeah, then you were just lucky." Some would argue that the danger we live with today is no more than what other generations have faced. I believe that we live in much more different times, much more scary times.

it must have been terrible to live under the threat of the A-bomb and war time and military draft. Infant mortality rates were high. Lots of husbands, brothers, and fathers went off to war. Many people died. Families were much larger and lived on what would seem much less.

I remember my parents telling me stories about how when they were young children, they had to have drills where they would hide under their desks in the event of a bomb.

I even attended an elementary school where there still existed a fallout shelter. Who knows what those are anymore these days?

Grandmom and Grandpop lived in scary times. Mom and Dad lived in scary times. They lived through war time. They experienced loss of life. They lived with an unjust government much as we do live with today. Ok, so you can really draw some parallels between the generations.

What I want to know is when did those generations have to deal with the fear of the common man's instability and inability to function in society? They dealt with it a lot but it seems like it's become even more commonplace today. It gives new meaning to the phrase "does not play well with others." When did they have to worry about sending their kids off to school (any kind of school mind you) and have to wonder if one or more of their fellow classmates was going to whip out a gun and kill a bunch of their kids before whacking himself?

It's normal to worry when you send your loved one off to war. You know there is a chance that they won't return but it is the sacrifice they make to make this a better place to live in.

It is NOT normal to worry when you send your loved one off to get an education to better themselves and wonder if they will not return. It's just not part of the deal when we go to places to educate ourselves.

We live in different times. I used to wonder about that premise. I used to think, well, is it really that different than what our parents and other generations have experienced? I mean, they lived with the constant threat of war and crime and violence.

After yesterday's events at VA Tech, I don't wonder about it anymore. We do live in different times and I've decided that it's much worse.

You'll always hear from elders "we lived with it and we turned out ok." I even catch myself saying it now too. 30 years ago, we didn't wear seatbelts in cars and we turned out fine. We ate foods laced with pesticides and we were just fine.

We walked to the school bus alone or in small groups and we got to school each day without being picked up by some creepy child molester or worse, being murdered by one.


We are constantly struggling to make it a safer world for our children and it feels like a losing battle. I look at my son who is not even one year old and I wonder about his future. Actually, I spend less time now wondering about his future, I spend more time worrying about it. All of the sudden home schooling is looking more and more attractive, but at the same time I realize that I can't keep him in a bubble all his life.

We can't predict what will happen in the future and we can't go back to a more innocent time. All we CAN do is live and not take life for granted.

Hug your kids. Love them. Cherish them. Stay close to them in with any means possible even when you're far away in physical distance. You never know what tomorrow brings...or takes away.


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