mourning morning my 6th-grade son leaves on the grade-level trip to Chicago — his first time away from home.

In two years, my daughter will leave for college.

How can I bear to let them go out into such a random and violent world?

8 responses to “mourning

  1. I’m not a Mom, but I sure can’t imagine the feelings that swirl around your mind and heart right now after such a horrible tragedy in Virginia.

  2. This is a question that every parent asks themselves from the begining of time. Our time is no different than any other time, although it seems to be.
    You must trust and accept that even if you could control every minute of their day, there would still be no way to fully protect them.
    As a parent, you have the opportunity to prepare them for the world as it is. You must trust that you have made every effort and that your efforts will pay off.

  3. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” –Anne Frank

    I hold that quote and idea very close to my heart. I believe there are more Good than bad.

  4. after my sophomore year in college I told my parents that I am moving across the world to live in the U.S. I expected them to worry and maybe object, but they were suprisingly calm. they just said: “we raised you to be a good and responsible person, and we trust you that you won’t get yourself in trouble.”
    just have faith in your children.

  5. sigh. I do trust my children, and I have faith in them — it’s the not-nice and not-sane members of humanity that scare me. No amount of trust and faith can protect our children when insanity with a gun comes knocking at the door.

    But now my son is on the bus to Chicago. (He even let me give him a hug when we were in the parking lot where no one could see.) I’m sure he’ll have a wonderful time — and I’ll be relieved when he’s home.

  6. Several years ago, we sat and discussed the pros and cons of homeschooling. Since your husband and my wife are both teachers in public schools, we brought a slightly different perspective to the mix, but one that seems to say “if the public school system is broken, instead of bailing out, maybe we should fix it!”

    With similar thoughts, I sent my sons to school after the Columbine tragedy, and at this moment have my oldest 90 miles away (fairly close, I know) at college. On Monday, I couldn’t help but call him to make sure he was OK (irrational, I know), and to remind him to be careful and aware of his surroundings. However, upon reading your post, I was reminded of the thoughts I had as I sent my sons to school the day after Columbine.

    Instead of being paralyzed with fear of what another student might do to them, I reminded them that they can be forces for good. Rather than living in constant fear of the evil that may lurk in the shadows, they can be the type of people who cast out the shadows. Regardless what form that takes–whether it’s by acting selflessly in a time of tragedy (like the VT professor who gave his life, barricading the door of the classroom while students escaped out the windows), or by befriending people “on the fringe,” in a way that helps them to see good where they might not otherwise see it–I have confidence that my sons can be agents of good.

    Likewise, I see both of your children and have confidence that they too, are agents of good in the circles they travel in. As much as we (Christians) want to paint believers as somehow “more good” than others, I know your children well enough to recognize that they will stand up to injustice, hate, and bigotry.

    In this way, I see no reason for mourning, other than the sadness that comes from separation. When I watch your children and mine move out into the world, I feel energized and invigorated, seeing endless opportunities for them to be catalysts that change everything they touch and everyone they meet, in positive and profound ways. – Tim

  7. P.S. My second-to-last paragraph needed a bit of editing. What I was trying to express was, though the faith experiences of your child and mine may be different (and I don’t know the details of what your children believe), the nature of who your children are… the clear moral compasses they possess, convince me that they too, are “agents of good.” – Tim

  8. Thanks very much, Tim. I agree: Your children and mine will be agents of good in the world. I hope there’s a critical mass of good people like them, to help keep the balance.

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