In loving memory of children-whatever age they are
Ever since I gave birth nearly seven years ago my appetite for the local news diminished. It may seem like a weird association but let me explain. Before seven years ago, I could not get enough of the news. Any news channel. I loved CNN, MSNBC, local news channels. Watching live news coverage helped me feel connected to an outside world. I felt in the know and in the now.
Then I gave birth to this little boy who came onto the world with his eyes wide open and filled with curiosity. His first few seconds in this world I watched his eyes taking in everything. I had never seen anything like it. The image is still seared into my brain. I can run it over and over and never tire of it. He is almost seven now and I still watch him watching the world.
I take in what he is watching and try to see it from his eyes and standpoint. He is processing and trying to make sense of it all. He has such a light behind those eyes. Those eyes just fill me with love; so much so that I cannot look at other kids suffering. I cannot bear to hear of kids being injured, abused or mistreated. Thus, I stopped watching the local news. For it always has some horrific story of a child being mistreated or worse. If I read or hear such a story I cannot sleep well. Those images and words race through my mind. It is not that I am fooling myself into thinking the world is perfect and no harm comes to children. I work in the non-profit world I see trauma everyday.
I just cannot process the thought of kids being hurt. I hear or see such a story and I immediately start thinking of my little boy. I think of how he came into the world filled with curiosity and light. I think of how he watches the world’s transactions with awe. I think of all those beautiful moments and then feel chills at the thought of such light being diminished in another child. I wasn’t always this sentimental about children. I was quite the opposite. There is something, however, to having one’s own child that takes root in one’s gut and changes one’s world view.
I visited a friend recently who was shook up because her husband recounted a horrific incident involving kids. She desperately wanted to share it with me because she could not sleep at night. She had the story images running through her head the last few nights and just could not shake it. She started to share the story with me and as I realized where it was leading I asked her to stop. I could not bare the thought of hearing of how some children probably died a grizzly, horrific death. I didn’t have it in me. I wanted to ease my friend’s anguish but could not do it by hearing the story myself. I noted she could process her emotions with me instead.
Today I received a breaking news alert on my phone from CNN. Sadly, Beau Biden -the son of the US Vice President- had died of brain cancer. He was just 46 years old. yes, an adult but a son nonetheless. My eyes flinched for Joe Biden for he had just lost a son. Whenever, one hears of a similar situation one always whispers “its not supposed to be that way. No parent is supposed to outlive their kid.” Forget about the white picket fence, the American Dream is that one’s child will live a good long life. Joe Biden had already lost a daughter decades ago. I cannot imagine how much pain he must be in and how his eyes are clouded over with tears at the fact that his son’s light has been dimmed. May he rest in peace.
I do not think I will turn on the television set at the moment. Instead, I may just look at some old photos and think of the beauty of children and my little boy in particular.