where do we go from here?

by humanmama on December 16, 2012

Yes, you have to send the kids to school tomorrow. Actually, that’s not true. You don’t. You could keep them out. Tomorrow, and even the next day. And maybe the day after that. But what then? You can’t keep them home forever.

I have home schooling-mama friends who are saying “You’re damn wrong, I can keep them home from school forever!” But you know, too, that even if they’re not in school, you can’t keep them safe forever.

So what’s next? How do we move on? Why do tragedies keep happening? Why do children have to suffer? Why do bad things happen–not just to good people–at all? Well, it’s the world, my dears. Call it evil, call it human nature, call it chance, or call it whatever you want. It’s the world. Sometimes things go amazingly well. And sometimes you’re holding your head in your hands, sobbing, asking God why.

We can’t change the world. But there is a little, tiny something we can do. And that’s learn from the bad.

We can learn. And we can teach. There’s only that, but believe me–that’s a lot. We can help our kids, our families, move on. We can turn off the TV. WE CAN TURN OFF THE INTERNET. We can silence the badness coming into our homes when the kids can see. And (why protect just the kids?) we can even turn it off for ourselves. We don’t have to watch, over and over, the horror. We can let it pass, in silence, and that can be our respects.

We can tell our kids “there are bad people in the world.” And we can tell them “these things happen.” But better, we can tell them I love you, you’re precious. We can tell them let’s do your homework together, and we can say today I’m not going to just clean around you, I’m actually going to take one hour to play with you. We can give them rules, and we can be consistent about those rules. And there are times when we can let them bend those rules, and they’ll be shocked and delighted. We can really, really listen. For an hour and a half. Without checking our smartphone once.

We can seek help when we’re feeling totally overwhelmed. We can be more attentive to when others are feeling totally overwhelmed. We can use each other as supports. We can lend shoulders to cry on. We can even do some of the crying.

There’s little we can do about the past. But there are many things we can do about the future. Can you think of some?

Hold those kids tight. And, it’s okay to send them to school. But if you want to hold them all day Monday too, go for it.


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