When I was young, I remember being invited to a birthday party with my sister at the friend’s home, two blocks from our own. I remember that we stayed for the cake, presents and games.
For the overnight portion of the evening, all of the kids were to stay in a tent in the backyard. I remember snuggling into my sleeping bag firmly next to my sister. We talked with the other kids as we listened to the adults outside becoming louder and louder sitting around a fire.
At this party, we knew the birthday girl, no one else. I remember my sister and I pulling closer together as we became uncomfortable.
Holding hands, we asked the mother if we could call home.
My sister and I packed up our belongings and walked home. I vividly remember my dad meeting us along the way, ushering us home to “safe.”
There were several other moments along the way, where my parents provided the security of a home base.
As a mom, I have striven to provide that same sense of security to my children.
Multiple times I have received a call from a much-anticipated sleepover or dance, asking to be picked up. To make them feel safe. Sleepovers, camping trips, dances, friends’ houses, even school.
Just over a week ago, there was a threat made against our local high school. Our police department was involved, it was determined to be a hoax, the people responsible were removed from school and arrested.
On that morning, at that time, I listened to my daughter. She texted me from the school, explaining how she felt. She expressed her fear, her anxiety amongst the assurances.
I did what I have always done, and went to my daughter, taking her home for the afternoon, to “safe.”
This is the world that we live in now. Our children are afraid, they live with fear, and always have.
“This is all I have ever known,” is how my daughter explains the current climate.
We cannot protect our children forever, that is true.
What we can do is provide them with a homebase. We can provide them the peace of mind to walk the world knowing we support them and will always answer their call.