Normally this weekly type of post is called the ‘Sunday morning sidewalk’ .. but today this Sunday morning is coming down.. The reason is not clear, but there is a deep concern in my heart about some personal issues that seem to be developing in my family. Let me explain without giving away personal secrets–I’m a 20th century boy and don’t share my entire life..
My son has grown fond of saying that he “knows everything” as of late.. It brings comic relief when he proclaims it, but he is entirely serious about this.. He truly says he knows everything and means it. Ayden is not yet even 4, but year somehow he does surprise me with his knowledge.. At times I think he knows more than me! He has become a reservoir of my memory, even telling me at times where I put items that I lost.. Found thanks to his keen eye and ear always being aware..
But he does not know everything. None of us do..
What I fear more than anything this lonely and gray Sunday morning is that the things he does not know will hurt him the most..
I am speaking specific on something..
There are a number of people in my family and my wife’s who are coming of age at a time where he will be growing into his later tens.. There is a chance that over the next decade, his life will be filled with funerals.. It scares me to ponder the thought that these eventual deaths will shatter his worldview in some way, but perhaps I am over thinking this..
Death is a fact of life. It happens to us all..
People all have their own way of dealing with events of this nature.. Children as well seem to put it into a perspective that works for them.
There is an even rougher edge to my thought on this.. The question of what God is.. whether God is.. and where he is.. I ask my son all of the time if he remembers where he was prior to being born.. as of yet he does not recall. I was hoping he’d tell me a pilot in war, or a child coal miner.. something specific and not relative to his life now, which could prove to me a reincarnation happens. Every theory on life after death is not proven. Near death experiences could be the closest thing we have–but how many of them are real vs the brain just doing its fluttering prior to switching off..
I don’t think of this all of the time. But I did last night mainly after seeing my parents struggle to decorate for Christmas.. My father already had a rendezvous with Death in December 2013 but survived.. However they are being aging in the same advanced way anyone who just turned 70 would..
I want to say, I am a happy parent. I am a nostalgic one however, with the first almost four years of Ayden’s life skyrocketing through time and space, it’s tough to get a breather and put into perspective the amazing ability a body has to age and develop.. The boy is amazing. He is absolutely my new best friend.. We play games, his play room shares a mini-office of mine.. Amazing stuff. And I have yet to really yell at him about anything important. Other parents remind me that it will change on that note, of course.. and I know it will. The parent hat will come on and he will one day tell me he hates me. I dread that moment.. But I will understand his rage is only skin deep.
What scares me more though is dealing with tragic life experiences, world upheaval, and personal crises.
About two weeks ago my wife was taking him to day care in the morning and they became stuck behind a tragic accident. There were two deaths.. My son still talks about it, reminding my wife and I about it .. He even became a back seat driver because of it, telling me to slow down or, as he says, ‘drive the right way.’ He must know of the 3o’clock position taught in driver’s ED classes.. Upon the sights and sounds of this wreck, he was told that the souls have gone to heaven. But he somehow knew that it meant in part they could ‘not go home again.’ He seemed a little sad, and changed the subject to something more appealing…
There are things about parenting that are harder than any 3am feeding session during infancy.. Those skin deep things are just things.. The real things that matter are the emotions that come with growing, the deep pain that someone can suffer, and how to inspire a child to grow up understanding life and still enjoying it.