I called my daughter last night to say goodnight. She’s on spring break, and we aren’t, so she’s spending a few days at Grandma’s house.
Me: “I know it’s early, but I’m really tired so I’m going to bed and wanted to say goodnight.” [Note that this was 8:30 and I had already fallen asleep reading. The only reason I was awake to make the phone call was the dogs woke me to go outside.]
Sarah: Oh . . . I’m . . . um . . . I’m scared.
Me: What? Why are you scared?
Sarah: Never mind, good night.
Me: No, Sarah. Tell me why you’re scared.
Sarah: Because of the bombs.
I wish I could say that I stepped up and had a brilliant moment of parenting at that time, but that would be a lie. As my heart broke and my arms yearned to take her in a never-ending hug, I tried my best to say the right things; to tell her I understood her fear, but that she was safe and that they would catch whoever had done this.
I tried to say the right things, but the words tasted like dust in my mouth, because in some ways they are lies. I cannot promise to protect her from every evil out there, just as mothers all over the world cannot protect their children from the bombs and bullets that plague them. I cannot protect her from every individual who somehow values his/her personal beliefs over the lives of others.
I cannot protect her from it all, unless I lock her in a cave and never let her out.
Last week I wrote a post called “‘Crood’ Lessons” , where I discuss some of the positives and negatives of the movie. Who would have thought that the lessons from that movie would carry over into this week?
You see, the father, Grug, tries to keep his family safe by keeping them in a cave. He only lets them leave for food. Yet, even the safety of that cave isn’t perfect. When he and his family have to move on in search of something else (in his mind another cave) he learns that its more important to live life than to hide in safety and never do anything.
“Never be afraid . . . follow the light.”
I called Sarah this morning just after I discovered this connection by writing in my Morning Pages. I finally had a metaphor to use to help her. I told her fear was okay, as long as we didn’t let it stop us from living. We talked about the movie. I think she understood.
“What are you all doing today,” I asked.
“Making fairy houses,” Sarah said.
Life moves on.
As it should.
This week is full of the lessons that we must learn; about resilience and life, about caring for each other, about never giving up, about kindness and strength. This morning I saw this post on my Facebook feed, posted by a girl named Laura Wellington who was 1/2 mile from the finish when the bombs exploded. The words underneath are hers:
This post–along with so many others that tell of kindness in the face of cruelty–reinforces the idea that we cannot hide in a cave and hope the bad things don’t touch us. No . . . we must face the sun, move bravely through life, and battle the evil with our hearts open.
Even if that battle simply comes in the form of building fairy houses.
Today I have this message and wish for you, my readers, my friends, my loved ones. I hope that you live each and every day with love and joy. I hope that you raise your voices in kindness and together we can combat any darkness that comes our way.
Let’s all stay out of the caves and follow the light.