What kind of a world are my kids growing up in? The question that plagued me on that dreadful morning 20 years ago. I had four little ones scampering around at the time, one toddler half-naked and being potty trained (we all remember exactly what was going on that morning, right?). Is it a world filled with consuming hate? ONLY and awful hate? How would I tell them that their friend's dad had been killed? How would I shake my own fear of it happening again and this time it would be their dad who had worked in NYC for most of their young lives? How? How? How? How will they know love? ONLY and wonderful love? The love that casts out fear in the form of a firefighter saying "I've got you. Come with me"? The love that wins in the end as yellow ribbons don every mailbox for miles and miles and miles for months and months and months? Today, my big kids are still scampering around, albeit fully-clothed, and the world still often seems consumed with hate.
ONLY and awful hate? But it's not true.
It's not ONLY.
Both hate and love exist, intertwined in all of our hearts. Along with a million other parts. Mine. And theirs. All I have to do is look back at these 20 years to see all the ways hate and love (and a million other parts) have shown up as I've raised my fearsome foursome. They've brought harm. Pain. Heartache. But also... They've brought joy. Healing. Hope. What kind of world are my kids growing up in? The question that plagued me for a lot longer than that dreadful morning and still does often. The answer is simple. And also super complicated. It's the wonderful, messy, awful, sacred, hateful, loving, broken, brave, and still healing world. It's a world filled with us. Every single one of us.