Good morning to you and happy Friday!
When our three were little, we loved (or at least I did…) to read a book called “The Big Snow”.
It was just a paperback picture story about a town preparing for the forecasted snow that was to come overnight.
Children were anticipating a snow day, people were stocking up on books to read and games to play and one little critter was baking apple pies. There was a quiet and calm to it all as the snow gently fell and in the morning the regularly scheduled programming was canceled as the neighborhood had a reprieve from daily duties and enjoyed nestling in. As I remember there was sledding involved and some pie sharing and it left you feeling cozy and longing for a good old fashioned day off from school.
But in reality we know that a snow storm and inclement weather do not mean everyone gets to stay tucked in nice and safe. Road workers are out tending the highways, utility people are risking their lives to make sure lines are up and running. Businesses don’t stop and the challenges of the weather can make life a nightmare for logistics. Hospitals are still caring for the sick and the people who deliver the weather updates have to get to the station. And if school is canceled, all these working parents are scrambling for day care options.
There is a huge difference between the safety zone for children and the reality of life on planet earth and somewhere in the past decade or two we have forgotten to buffer things for those tender minds and hearts that are not quite ready to deal with the concerns we adults face with an arsenal of experiences and mistakes made and lessons learned that gradually moved us from childhood to adulthood.
I remember vividly going to the video store and trying to shield our little one’s eyes from the covers of some of the choices available as I tried to find something we could all watch together on a Friday evening. It was shocking to me to see families where kiddos younger than ours were eliminating R rated films because they had already seen them…sigh…
Recently we had a Sunday afternoon football game on as our crew was visiting and playing with toys in our family room. A commercial came on repeatedly for a show called “Evil” (I don’t mean to judge, but seriously?) and a man would hiss into the face of a terrified woman the plans he had to destroy her four daughters. Of course, we turned it off because the game was not worth the fear that could have been induced. And yes, I realize that football in itself is not exactly a non-violent sport…so don’t start a debate with me on that one, puh-leeze.
My point is that there seems to be a sense that this is the world these kids live in so the sooner they are exposed, the better prepared they will be. I would argue that this is rather counter to all common sense.
Our Caroline has a strong aversion to meat at this point in her life. She prefers carbs in all forms and a little sugar thrown in for good measure. So we don’t put a big hunk of steak on her little pink princess plate and expect her to eat it. Her tummy and her baby teeth and tongue and mouth are not ready for that. Instead, her parents carefully assess her food intake and make sure she gets her protein and vitamins and necessary nutrients as they carefully attempt to introduce her to meats and vegetables.
Oh … and they pray…alot…that she will learn to eat the foods she will need as she grows and matures.
It’s evident in other areas as well.
You don’t teach your children to swim by throwing them in a shark tank. You don’t teach them to ride a bike by putting them on a motorcycle. You don’t teach them to read by handing them Moby Dick.
We need to be as protective and careful to guard the hearts and minds of our children. We cannot blindly accept what the culture is shoving into our homes.
To do so is not taking the responsibility for the care of young people. I am not suggesting we take on the culture but rather that we, as followers of Christ, consider well what we are watching and reading and promoting and accepting in each of our homes and lives. It takes a little extra time and effort to search out what is good and pure and beautiful, but it is worth it.
There are so many young parents who feel alone as they continue to attempt to help their children gradually figure out the harder parts of life. And yes, some children are being exposed to the reality in doses that would make us reel.
Our role as adults is to take care of the problems and to carefully and responsibly allow our children to learn and grow and mature at a pace that they can handle. I don’t see how we can do this without diligence and love and a ton of prayer.
Not sure where that came from…not sure who needs to hear it…but there you go.
Your word of exhortation for Friday <3
Be blessed…make an apple pie…it’s gonna snow at least here in our neck of the woods. Prayers for safety for those who have to be out and about <3