I look at my children a lot. Take in their facial features, their beauty, their innocence…because I know how fleeting time can be. They’ll be grown up before I know it, and I’ll be missing the days when I could hold them in my arms without their protest.
Yesterday was no exception. We were eating our lunch outside, when a thought occurred to me about how blissfully unaware they are about our world.
And at that moment, I was scared. Scared that anyone may want to harm them….either physically or emotionally. Granted, I’m always a worry wart about my girls. Even before they were born, and still a part of me, I worried then. But yesterday, was a different kind of anxiety.
I had a conversation with my dad earlier this week, while watching the girls play at McDonald’s, and we discussed my apprehension about their teenage years. I told him that I wasn’t worried so much about the bad decisions they’d make, but rather, the friendships they will forge.
I’m scared that they’ll befriend someone who doesn’t value family. Someone who’ll be a negative influence…who’ll deliberately hurt them, who’ll manipulate them…someone who’ll shake their confidence rather than bring them up.
And at that moment, I wanted to put them in a bubble. To protect them from all those people. To keep them in my happy love bubble. Away from harm. But then I had a scary realization….
There were times in my past when I encountered less than desirable types of people. And while I think I handled those situations to the best of my ability, I know I could’ve done better.
And that’s what I want for my children. To be strong in times of conflict, and possess great strength in confidence. To have the knowledge that positive company is the best type of company to keep.
And in order for me to teach that to them, to let them learn for themselves…I have to burst my bubble.
As much as I want to protect my girls, trying to protect them by not exposing them to life is actually hurting them.
My girls are growing older. My youngest keeps telling me that she’s not a baby, but rather a “mermaid.”
I hope they don’t swim too far away, too soon.