I stopped watching the news several years ago. It was just too hard to see the hurt and the pain that seemed to be the only things that were shown on the news. (Although being the typical farmer's daughter...I do still DVR the news so I can see what the weather will be like...but that is another story). As Dotty got older I still continued to avoid the news but it was mainly because I didn't want her to see the terrible things that were being reported. Like a lot of parents I try to keep my kid in a bubble...in every way I can.
Of course after a while I realized that not only did I not watch the news on TV...I didn't read papers...I didn't look at the "Top Stories" on the internet...I didn't search out information in any way. Then I realized I was trying to keep myself in a bubble too. I was trying to shield myself from a world that seemed to be full of pain, agony, hate, destruction, war, violence, abuse.
Of course some things I could not avoid (after all...even ESPN talks about the REALLY big stories...even those not specifically related to sports). I have heard about the school shootings, North Korea, Sandusky, Tiger's 2 stroke penalty (okay maybe that one is solely sports), and just yesterday the Boston Marathon bombings.
Like so many of us when I heard about Boston I wanted to find my child...hold her and never let go. I wanted to go home lock the doors, close the blinds, and have all groceries delivered via internet shopping. I wanted to get inside my bubble and never leave.
But I couldn't do that.
Because today Dotty went to what will be her new school in the fall. Tony and I signed Dotty up for Kindergarten today.
I looked over at him at one point during the many papers we were filling out and asked "Can you believe she is already going to kindergarten?" He just shook his head and said..."no".
After Dotty had her evaluation (of which she came out...got her sticker...and proudly told us "I passed!") we took her to Sonic to hear all about what she did while we were filling out papers. She told us about counting numbers, knowing her letters, hopping, skipping, and all sorts of things. She said it with so much excitement and joy!!!
Just 24 hours earlier I was thinking seriously about home schooling my child and when I saw the joy on her face I thought...how could I take "life" away from her (nothing against home schooling...by the way).
Dotty is so excited to experience new things...to grow and learn and hop and skip...to LIVE.
At 5 going on 6 she has no fear...and that is a good thing. She doesn't know that there are people so full of hate that they kill innocent people. She doesn't know that the world is full of hurt and pain. All she knows is the world is full of joy and excitement...in her eyes that is all she sees (well that and the fact that the world is mostly full of not having to wear a uniform...she is most excited about that next year).
I can't put my child in a bubble because then she would miss out on so much.
The people who ran in the Boston Marathon were people who lived life to the fullest. I can't imagine running 26.2 miles. I can't imagine the dedication and the strength that it takes to do that. But those people that ran yesterday...they saw life not as a finish line...but as journey that never ends. And the people that were there to cheer on family, friends, and random strangers...saw that joy for life too. No doubt they could feel that joy coming off the runners as they headed to the finish.
I don't want Dotty to take unnecessary risks in life...but I don't want her to be afraid to run towards joy either.
This world does have pain, hurt, agony, hate, voilence, destruction, war, abuse...and so much more bad things. But it also has joy, peace, excitement, growth, love, healing, faith, perserverence, success, strength, grace, mercy and oh so much more.
Today I appreciated the day that was a big moment for my child. But I appreciated even a bit more because of what happened in Boston. It is sad that it takes tragedy to make us slow down and be grateful and thankful for the good times.
I will never know why bad things happen in life...especially things like Boston. But I know that I am not supposed to have all the answers. I also know that God gave us this life to live abundantly...that is what those marathon runners were doing and that is what I try to do every day.