When I hear bad news that I can’t do anything about, I write. I also look at my life and think about how I can protect it from all the evil and sickness that I feel are currently surrounding our world.
I can’t begin to understand what is going on and sometimes, I have to admit, I’d rather not know. I see all the posts on Facebook and wonder if I should read them all so I’m informed, so that I have something to contribute at the dinner table (although people are used to me not checking in because I’m focused on my kids and making sure they eat or they’re used to my brain not really present for one reason or another).
But sometimes, I don’t want to know. Does this make me a bad person who doesn’t care about the world? Does this make me a bad mother who doesn’t want to learn about what she needs to protect her daughters from?
I don’t even read suspense, horror, or emotionally heavy stories. I read books to escape, to have fun, to relax. I like happy endings. Gosh darn it, I EXPECT happy endings from the books I read. And I write them too. In fact, if I could do something, anything about it, I would make sure my life, my world, and the lives of my little girls have not just happy endings but consistent happiness at every turn.
But this is not the case. This is not real life. This is not what will make us grow. My daughters will experience pain. They will be hurt. Their hearts will break. And not just because their favorite band broke up or their favorite celebrity decided to stop making music. They will meet boys who will make them feel less than perfect, boys I will want to seek out and destroy. Wait a minute, they will meet girls like that too. And if I could talk down and crucify each and every one of these people who will break the spirit of my girls, I would. But you see, one of the rules of motherhood, the first one that I had to learn, is that you cannot control everything. You cannot control who your children become, what they want, who they want to be friends with, who they are. You can attempt to control what you can, but in the end, you need to trust in something, in someone, in them. And in yourself.
Right now, I feel like nothing I can do will help or protect my girls from the evils and the hatred in the world. But as they say, once hope is gone, once faith and trust are gone, then everything is lost. I remind myself about this whenever I despair, whenever I feel I shouldn’t have brought children into this terrible world. I need to trust. I need to have faith. And I need to continue to hope.
When life is at its darkest, at its bleakest, there is nowhere else to go but up. And out. And what will carry me there on its great big, majestic wings is Hope. I just need to hold on tight. And never let go.