This morning, as I was trying to figure out why my laptop was moving from one task to another at snail speed, I came across some old videos of my two older children. In one, my son was about three years old, seated in the backseat of our car at that time (one of those faulty Chevy Cobalts), and my husband was driving around, taking the long, scenic route as they headed toward a surprise trip to Chuck E. Cheese. I am not sure where I was. I might have been in the car, taking the video, but if I was, I was super quiet.
Either way it goes, CEC was one of Jayden’s favorite places at the time. It was relatively cheap for us to go and spend an afternoon there, and we typically went during mornings or afternoons throughout the week to avoid the awful crowds on the weekends. On this particular day, Matt was having a little fun with Jayden, acting like he was taking him somewhere other than CEC. Although he was only 3, Jayden knew that CEC was near, and you could see him getting excited and sitting up in his car seat, and when Matt finally parked after circling the lot in front of CEC for suspense a few times, Jayden let out this happy yell and started talking about all the fun things he wanted to do there.
And a tear dropped down my cheek.
In another video, Layla was not even walking age yet. She was strapped securely into her car seat, a pacifier hanging out of her mouth, her head still basically bald LOL. Matt had some praise music playing, and every not and then she was pump her fists as if she were dancing to the music. A few times she smiled and made noises. At one point Matt took the pacifier out of her mouth and set it down, thinking she was going to try to sing, and she put the pacifier right back in and smiled. I laughed.
And then I cried.
This world is going in a bad direction. Each day I read the news and it’s rare that I see anything that makes me confident about the future direction of America in particular. I am so disappointed that we have adults who are more interested in amassing large amounts of a piece of raggedy paper than they are in making sure that each child is educated, fed, and taken care of. I wonder if they know that they will answer to God for their decisions. Admittedly, part of me doesn’t care. I know that’s not the way I should be, as I should be stressed by the notion of anyone displeasing God and paying for it, but I’m not. The human side of me wants to see some of these entitled selfish jerks get what they deserve. I do NOT want to be a part of a society that thinks money is more important than fresh air, trees and taking care of the planet; feeding each and every person here, since we produce MORE than enough food; housing our citizens; and making sure everyone has access to a decent education from preschool through college. But yet, here I am. America.
I almost hate looking at message boards and forums because adults are so full of crap now. Whereas there should be more concern for the issue at hand, there’s arguing. I can see no reason why anybody of sound mind would NOT be concerned with some of the things that are going on. I don’t see how people don’t have more empathy. It’s sickening, but the Bible has warned us that in the last days man’s love for one another would wax cold.
In the midst of all this, I cry sometimes because the concept of letting go of my kids in this crappy world is terrifying. I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but I have no idea what else to do. Our neighborhood is safe–there have been no issues about prowlers or stranger danger, anyone approaching kids, etc., since we’ve been here, but I still look outside more frequently than I probably should when they’re outside playing. Jayden’s school sponsored a sleepaway camp and my husband and I quickly vetoed him going. It is several hours away, phone service is limited, and the thought of him getting there and having problems with his asthma or being around water when he’s not that great a swimmer scared me.
The first day he went to school, I cried the whole time. Number one, because I missed him. Number two, because the thought of leaving my precious baby with strangers was petrifying. I worried about him the whole time, and sometimes I still worry about him even now, as a ten-year-old fifth grader. Is he feeling okay? Is anyone mistreating him? Is he having a hard time with his schoolwork? Is some mentally unstable adult going to get into his school and go berserk?
I’m sure I’ll be the same way when Layla goes to school in the fall, and when Jayla’s turn comes in 2021.
This is why I can’t figure out parents who don’t bother to pray. If I have nothing else to pray for in this life, there’s always the children. Notice I said “the” children. Not just my children. All of them. They need it, and they deserve it. These kids did not ask to be here, and they deserve better than what they’re getting.
Although I still worry, I always feel much better after I have prayed. There is a sense of peace that comes over me after I have acknowledged that the One who created my kids and gave them to me is the one who can protect them. It is Christ Jesus who provides power for the powerless. If something happens to one of my kids and I am not around, at the very least they have been covered by my prayers.