Kyle: What if the whole universe was made of fire? Except us.
Me: That would be crazy. I don’t know, what would we do?
Kyle: We would walk around in it. Or drive through it.
Me: But, how would we keep from getting burned?
Kyle: We would be fireproof.
I love little conversations with my little boy like this in the car. It is fascinating to me to see how his mind works. I think it is just going all the time (kind of like mine) and he has a hard time shutting it off. He also told me that he had a dream the other night about strawberries dancing in his tummy. Silly boy.
But, as I watched the news this morning on my tiny iPod touch so my children would not hear/see it, I couldn’t help but think of that little conversation I had with him. Bombings, shootings, explosions. In a way, we are walking around in fire. Every single day.
Fear is something that I don’t like to let control my life. But, it does. I stand anxiously by the window as I’m waiting for my daughter to walk home from school. I tried for a long time to not allow toy guns, or other such toys in the house. But, I have two boys and I watched today as my 4 year old and 16 month old played with all his army men, tanks, and other little GI Joe figures. I heard him talk about the rocket going into the building, and a little part of me shuddered.
We walk around in fire everyday.
Sure, maybe it isn’t in a literal sense, but there is evil all around us. And, I want to protect my kids from that evil as long as possible. I record the news and watch it when they are in bed. But, sometimes I turn on the TV and for a split second, something horrible flashes across the screen before I can switch it to Sesame Street. I can’t help but think that those tiny little images remain in their brains. Even if they don’t know what’s going on, those images come out in bad dreams, and little conversations in the car.
I remember the first time I was watching a TV show (probably Law and Order) and my first born was just a baby. I frequently watched TV with her in the room thinking that she wasn’t paying any attention. And, usually, she wasn’t. She was playing happily with her own toys. Yet, in an instant, it seems, she was older. And, she was watching. Someone was shot on the show and she was staring right at the TV. She couldn’t have been much older than a year old. But, I remember being horrified that she had seen violence at such a young age. I felt guilty, of course, and immediately turned the TV off.
I wish we could fireproof our children in someway. And, I believe we can. I believe it is through the refuge and safety we create in our own homes. Through the way we teach our children, and how we follow the teachings of a loving God. It is hard to have faith though, when the fire is touching the lives of all of those around us. And sometimes, fireproofing is not enough. There will always be little innocent lives that get lost. That get cut short.
The best we can do is try not to be afraid and walk through the fire with our heads held high. Teach our children to stand up for what they believe in. Walk Tall. Teach them who they are and what there is to be proud of. Teaching them IS fireproofing them against an evil world. We can turn the TV off and make our homes a safe haven where they don’t think about those things. Because they do hear about it. They talk about it even as young as 6 years old. I was angry when my daughter heard about the Newtown shooting at school. But, we can’t live in fear. Because then, evil wins.
So, I for one, am going to do the best I can to “fireproof” my family, walk through the fire that surrounds us every single day. And, have faith that there is Someone greater than all of us that is in control of it all.