In the spring of 1998, when I was pregnant with Jayce, I was at the beauty salon where I worked as a receptionist. As I sat at the front desk, dozens of police cars zoomed by with the lights flashing and sirens blasting.
Turns out, down around the corner at the local high school, a student had open fired and killed at least one student and critically wounded several others. Later, they found the boys parents killed in their own home by their own son.
School violence was on the rise back in those days. But, I remember thinking, with my hand on my growing tummy, "What kind of world am I bringing a child into?". I was so fearful for my unborn child and so saddened for the parents that lost a child that day.
In the late summer of 2001, Jayce was a pre-schooler and I was actually working outside the home at a high school in the teen parenting program. As I got ready to go to work that morning, the news was filled with airplanes flying into the World Trade Center Towers. The rest of the day was a foggy, unbelievable daze.
We were currently trying to get pregnant again. Again, I was hit with a strong fear of bringing another child into a world filled with so much hatred and violence.
I remember tucking Jayce into bed that night with such a heavy but grateful heart.
This last fall, Josie started kindergarten. The morning of the first day of school, there was a shooting across from the school. It was drug related and actually quite unusual for this area. I was so mad that Josie's first day at school included a lock down and police cars.
Today on the way home from the grocery store, 2 police motorcycles zoomed past me with their lights flashing and sirens blasting. Of course, police go past me on the road all the time. But, they were headed towards my neighborhood. My first thought, whenever I see any police speeding in my area of town, is always about my kids and where they are.
When my children are away from me, there is a fear that they will do something they are not suppose to or that something terrible will happen to them.
I think this is all a part of parenting. The fear.
Unfortunately, the world can be a terrible, scary place. But, I also know it can be a wonderfully beautiful place too.
A parent has to "learn to let go". That's a common phrase in the parenting handbook. But, you aren't letting them go with no protection. Trust that God will keep them safe. After all, He's the one that gave your kids to you in the first place!
I think I will always panic a little when I see police zooming past me but a little fear is ok. But so is trust.
Fear and trust. The right combination.