Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Continuing the discussion.

My good friend Rachael gave me a thought-provoking comment on yesterday's post.  These are things that I admit I had considered, but worth a read if you missed it.  

"As you know, I've been giving this a lot of thought. The world we live in now is actually MUCH safe for our kids than our world was. The difference is, we have 24 hour news now and we didn't then. 

I think each generation is progressively more sheltered because each generation remembers being a kid and what it was like and and now protects their kids from it. 

I don't think it's intentional in the least. I think it's a mama thing.

We're reading "Ramona the Pest" right now, and it was written in 1955. How can I tell? Well, Beezus is 9(?) and Ramona is 4 and they walk all over the place by themselves--to the library, to Beezus's art class, to the store. When Beezus is in art class, Ramona is left to play in the sand pile BY HERSELF (and she's only 4, mind you). You would see NONE of that today, and if you did, CPS would be called in a heartbeat. 

Our children are cherished and loved and sheltered and protected and they know no other way, whether it's in school with all their drills (we want it to be automatic so if the day comes and it's not a drill, there's no freaking) or airport security. 

This may not be a bad thing. I wonder if we went and really perused history what we would find with regards to safety and our kiddos...

And, may I just say how blessed I feel to live HERE and not some middle eastern country (I'm looking at you Afghanistan and Syria)?"

Social media and the instantaneous feed that we get was a perfect example today.  I texted Rachael a photo of the USA Today story stating that the bombing suspect was in custody.  AP reported the same thing.  I think that she stopped her carpet scrubbing to investigate a little and came back a few minutes later to report that CNN said that they didn't.  

I agree that I think that our kiddo life was not as safe as what we have now.  Did I mention the time that my car door opened as my mom turned out of my grandparent's driveway?  The only reason I didn't fall out was because my sister grabbed me up.  No seat belts.  

People could freely walk in and out of schools.  Interestingly, school shootings aren't just a now thing.  (I mentioned this yesterday.)  

I remember stories of a lot more strangers offering "candy" to little children.  My cousin was almost abducted from her bus stop-- the end of the driveway.  

With social media we fail to have that shield that we had when we were kids.  If we had that shield, the misinformation that was released today would have never gone out.  They would have had to wait for it to go to print.  We also had a resistance to print a while ago.  What do I mean?  It means that not every single thing that we thought was placed on a page for someone to read that very instant it happened.  People Facebook about what they ate, where they go, who they talked to and so forth.  These were things that back in the day, you just didn't go there.  No one cared, but you didn't feel the need to share your every life morsel either.  

Security is upgraded.  I'm good with that.  Airports want your shoes off?  Fine.  Check my bag?  Fine.  I would rather K have lock down drills so that, as Rachael said, it is automatic and not a reason to freak out.  

Still, our overly media-ized society makes me sad for the days of my youth.  They were innocent.  The TV was a bit more quiet.  I walked to my grandparent's house, a mile away, on my own.  Now, I don't let K off the block without me and/or Hubs in tow.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My child isn't growing up in the world that I did.

Or maybe she is.  I look back at my childhood and remember really only decent stuff.  If I dig into the deep corners of my brain, there are the things--

Vietnam and Watergate were going on when I was born.
We had the Unabomber who was active from 1978-1995.  I distinctly recall that sketch of him and that it was posted at the bread store that we shopped at.
Adam Walsh was abducted.
The Cold War was going on.
President Reagan was shot.
The stock market crashed when I was in high school and people were so horribly distraught that they were jumping out of windows.
We had the Oklahoma City Bombing.  The little girl that the firefighter was holding was Baylee.  That is who our Bailey was named for.  (Scroll down and it is on the right.)
We had the World Trade Center Bombing in 1993 and 9/11.
We've had school shootings, but by my historical look back-- they have existed from as far back as 1760.  It was interesting to find out that historically, it isn't as rare as I thought it was.  It is a bit more frequent, but I thought it only started with Paducah.  It didn't.  (I hadn't counted Kent State, our Alma Mater in there since it was a college and not a public school.)
We had the Lockerbie Pan Am Flight 103.
We've had terrorism since the beginning of time.  When I state terrorism, I don't mean just foreign.  We've had our fair share of domestic terrorism as well.

I could go on (it doesn't even come close to encompassing horrible things that happened), but growing up, I do recall worrying a lot about abductors.  It seemed to be the thing.  That and rapists and people being murdered.  There was the aunt of someone we knew who was found deceased in her trunk, on the expressway shoulder, right behind our property.  (3 acres, so it was a ways back.)  Still.

People stole cars.  Now people blow people up with pressure cookers.

K's school has lockdown drills on a regular basis.  All of our kids who aren't homeschooled do.  It is built into her being at school and it doesn't unnerve her.  That's a good thing.  She's been trained to throw books at the bad guy.  She's been taught how to escape.  She's been taught how to huddle in a corner with her classmates and to be really quiet.

It makes me sad that we've come to this.  We had tornado drills and fire drills when I grew up.  My grandma had me pretty wired to freak out for storm warnings.  I've since reprogrammed myself and education has taught me that freaking out about storms isn't going to stop them.

People put crap in the Halloween candy and Mom had to stop making those yummy popcorn balls.  Then, there were the special treats that you made for the neighborhood kids and the pre-packaged things that you gave to everyone else.

K's life is now a lot of airport security when we go by flight.  We've stopped flying to Chicago because by the time we go to the airport and wait a ton, fly there and get through, we could have just driven and paid less, so we do.

She thinks that we've always had to surrender our shoes, pack tiny bottles of toiletries and go through the potential pat-down.

She thinks that we've always had to hand over our ID and to sign our life away to purchase cold medicine or cough syrup.

Childhood for me had stuff, but maybe I'm looking at it through a mothers eyes.  Maybe that is the reason of why it looks a lot worse to me.

K knows about the Boston Marathon Bombing.  She also knows that we refuse to stay home and would not think of not supporting Aunt K as she runs her marathons.  If Aunt K wants us there, we'll go.  Despite the horrible things that happen, those that are going through all of this want us to lift them up in prayer.  They don't want us to discontinue living because they were injured as they were living theirs.  They don't want the terrorists to win and we don't want to, either.

We need to, as so many have pointed out, look at  the helpers.  Look at how those that stopped, jumped fences, held people and helped them as they were injured.  Look at the people who have opened their homes, offered their funds, fed and comforted.  Truly, this is not something that surprises me about Boston.  When we were there in 2006 for the 110th running of the Boston Marathon, everyone (and I mean everyone) we encountered was wonderful.  What an example of love.

I know that I'm rambling.  I get it from my mom.  It's just a journal.  If you hung in there, good on you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The loss.

My family and I have had the privilege to be at the Boston Marathon as curb crew.  My sister-in-law is a marathon runner.

My husband ran his sister OVER the finish line.  (He was running bandit but only ran bandit for the last 3 1/2 miles.)  We were glad that Hubs was with his sister.  After she finished, she had to enter a medical tent because of some asthma-type thing she had going on.  (26.2 miles will do that to you.)  She ended up being fine, but I'm certain that having her brother with her helped to calm her. 

We walked the streets. 

We took part in the activities. 

We rode in cabs.

We rode on the T.  

Boston was good to us. 

K was 2 and our time there was 7 years ago.  

I had calls, texts and e-mails checking to see where my sister-in-law was at and where we were.  People know that we have seen her run 4 marathons.  (Chicago twice, Boston and New York City.)  I was texting my sister-in-law back and forth.  She has a marathon coming up this fall.  She asked if we would have hesitation about going along with them again.  I replied no.  We wouldn't miss it.  

Having been in the marathon environment enough times to get what it is all about, everyone is hanging out with everyone else.  You have people from all over.  Everyone bands together and cheer people on. 

You have runners in costume.

You have runners that are/have gotten married at some point in the race.

You have people battling health issues, but they are battling to get to the marathon finish line at that point.  

You have people who have earned the right to run and are doing their best to finish.

I can tell you that as a lot of people, the last thing you suspect is a bomb going off and claiming lives, limbs and calmness.  The atmosphere itself is one so far from worry of national security and once again, someone/some people have claimed innocence with that of murder and panic.  

Tonight we pray for Boston, for the runners, families, spectators and for our country.  For once again, someone/some people have decided to do something heinous.  Allow us to band together and instead of pointing fingers, let us put our hands together in prayer.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

And we're back.

My every weekend date with K until mid-June.  The weather was kind.  Not too hot, not overly sunny, not freezing with little balls and not raining torrentially.  Let us wish for such kindness all season!