This week my son’s good friend who lives across the street from us moved away. They didn’t move that far, but still they are not right across the street anymore. It was sad for my son and his friend. They have played together almost every day for the past year and a half or so. It’s hard to watch your son go through something that hurts him. But it’s apart of life and it’s not something I can shield him from.
Before we had kids I used to watch King of Queens a lot. It’s a really funny show, although I didn’t realize that there was so much inappropriate language and stuff in it until I had kids. Anyway, there was this one show were the main character, who is in his thirties, goes home for the holidays with his wife. They see his dog while they are visiting his parents. The wife asks how old the dog is and they say that the dog has been around since the guy was a kid??! Finally, the main character realizes that his original dog died years ago but his parents kept buying new dogs so that he wouldn’t realize that his beloved dog had died. It’s a silly example of trying to shield your kids from pain.
Hopefully none of us would do that in real life, but we do, in small ways. What I have discovered in my life is that pain happens. It’s good to show your children how best to deal with pain, than to pretend that it doesn’t happen. When we had our miscarriages a few years ago we let our children see us cry. We didn’t let them see the angry grief that we had, but we did let them see some tears. We showed them that we were hurting and that it was okay to cry and show your hurt. But then, we stopped crying, and told them that everything was going to be okay because we had God in our lives and He would see us through. I think this helped my son deal with other losses he has had since then, like his good friend moving away.
There are comings and goings in life. You cannot stop it. If we never knew what pain was, we could not fully experience joy. Loss, although painful, is good for us, it makes us appreciate what we have and what we will yet have.
I think when we try to shield our kids from the facts of life, the hurts of life, we are doing a great injustice to them. They will enter their adult life ill-equipped to handle any disappointment or hurt. Protecting our children is completely different from sheltering our children. Learning to define the two & draw the line is yet another challenge of parenting.
Thanks again for a great blog!