I absolutely adore when people tell me they love following my family on social media. It’s part of what’s great about posting and viewing pics online, is sharing in milestones and enjoying vacations vicariously and basking in the cuteness that is your kids and mine. How wonderful to multiply happiness by sharing in it.
But I don’t have to tell you that being a parent isn’t all sunshine and smiles. All three of our kids have special challenges that we as parents struggle to handle and love our kids through. Both the toddler and pre-teen years are emotionally fraught times that have placed unique strains on this harried mom and dad. And, for some same and some different reasons, we fear for the very physical safety of our children every day, whether because of their gender or race or because of the proliferation of guns or bullying.
As you may know, I am not an inherently warm and cuddly person. Nor am I predisposed to hover over my kids at every moment to keep them close and safe. As a parent who desires to prepare his kids for the future, and who has tried to take a clear-eyed approach to the risks they will face in life, I lean towards putting them out on a limb and watching them learn and stretch and grow from it.
I do not plan to change the strategy. But I do realize that they are ever in harm’s way, sometimes for choices they make, sometimes for who they are independent of any fault of theirs, and sometimes because of the cruel randomness of it all. And there are times that that terrifies me. Pray for our kids, as I pray for all our kids. May God protect us all.