My son will leave on Friday, with friends, on a 10-day trip to Disney in Florida. This is the first time he has been away from his mother and I for so long. I suppose in an odd sort of way it shows how “grown up” he is becoming, but it is an unusual feeling for me all the same.
I’ll admit that I’ve had some bad dreams lately of some terrible [usually random] fate befalling him while he’s away… It doesn’t help that I’ve come across pictures of some of the chaos going on in Syria depicting children, about his age, working in munitions factories and becoming casualties (and fatalities) in the fighting.
I won’t post a picture here (for multiple reasons) but you can find a lot of images here if you so choose. There is one particular slide there that I think looks a lot like my son, and you might imagine the mental gymnastics that initiated.
Even so, I’m quite certain any concerns I have are merely representations of fiction — my various insecurities breaking loose a little. I have no reason at all to be worried as he is with trusted friends and he can probably take care of himself almost as well as I can.
And Disney isn’t anything like Syria, thankfully.
Perhaps it is still a good reminder to those of us who worry about our children when they are away… some families don’t have the luxury of worrying. When we’re worrying about what might happen, for many of us, the statistical probability of our child writhing in agony on a crude operating table after your home has been, quite literally, bombed is, well, pretty negligible.
But families in Syria are living that nightmare. There, many children my son’s age are fighting [and dying] alongside their parents. They’re learning the result of hate, the misery of hunger and anger, and the reality of death first-hand. I have this sickening feeling that they do not possess the wisdom to assimilate these experiences, and it will probably lead them down paths that cause more of the same for both themselves and others.
I suppose the fact that my mind has somehow gone off on this tangent goes to show how I am still affected by a certain measure of irrationality; and maybe that isn’t all bad.
Hold your children close and appreciate them. Let them enjoy their childhood — don’t accidentally make them grow up too soon. Be mindful of how good they really have life and help them understand and respect that fact as they grow up and their own individual capacities make it possible to do so.
Be well, friends!