“It’s my job to keep you safe.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that to K over the years. This job of mine made things like bike helmets and car seats and seat belts non-negotiable. It required us to install safety gates on stairs and rubber bumpers on sharp corners.
K is 15 now. She’s outgrown the car seats, safety gates and rubber bumpers, but she always wears a bike helmet and her seat belt. She looks both ways when crossing the street. She doesn’t run with scissors or talk to strangers. So, she’s safe, right? Cause you see, that’s my job, to keep her safe.
We talk about current events and the lessons we can learn from them. I try to be honest without being frightening. I believe in open conversation. I believe knowledge can help us be better prepared for danger.
A 15 year old girl was sexually assaulted after getting off her school bus in our town. Getting off her school bus. At 3 in the afternoon.
The Boston Marathon runs through our town. Like so many in the area, we knew people running the race and at the finish line. I’ve run a marathon. I’ve had family waiting for me at the finish. On Monday, a monster or monsters set off bombs near the finish line, killing and maiming people. For running or watching a marathon. In the middle of Boston.
It’s enough to make me want to put my family in lock down. Put safety gates around our house. But… I can’t do that so I look for comfort where I can find it.
One of the comforting messages I heard was to acknowledge to children that yes, there are bad people in the world but to remind them there are many more good people than bad. Maybe as parents our real job is to keep our kids as safe as we can. And our job for the world, is to do everything we can to make sure our kids are one of the good guys.
So today, K and I volunteered for the first time at The Food Project, an organization whose mission includes creating a “thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system.” Our group of volunteers planted 14,000 parsnips seeds. As one of the volunteers said, “In light of this week’s events, I’m thankful to be able to come together as a community and make a difference.” Exactly.
Good guys. They’re everywhere. We just have to remember to look for them.