When I was the oldest, sometimes a great wave of fear piled up on him at uncertain moments, that horrible way for any young child that might still be the most frightening of an adult’s experience. The fear itself would be frightening to him, not alien and understandable, it is not for an adult. He can’t always see it and he never knows what it will do. As soon as it is piled up it will become more horrible than what happens.
A young child may not know what an adult usually knows, the fear will probably go away and soon, even if you do what you do is wait and keep breathing. All a little kid knows is that fear is growing; It’s inside and it’s making itself big. A toddler doesn’t know how to do anything about it. What a small child can do is hopefully expect older people to notice, and know how to carry it, and carry it. That’s why we cry: it’s a way to ask for mercy.
Even when he was younger, he tried to be brave. Her lips will move. You will catch him in that middle moment, the middle line of the street, hiding the fear and the frozen between showing you so that you can help him.
One summer afternoon when he was eight years old there was a wonderful storm, a downpour, the kind of storm that happens every moment and mostly not a big danger for anyone inside a solid house, but it caught us by surprise and we hurried down to the basement. A minute ago the sunlight, so cruelly hot, the black sky, the roaring wind, the thunderbolts so sudden and loud even inside the house that the adults threw their hands over their heads. The giant oak trees outside seemed to be spinning over the head like a handful of hairs bigger than imagined. Every window filled to look like explosive violence. It seemed impossible that the forest would not fall on us.
He was scared and tried not to. We tried to reassure him that it was OK, that the storm would pass as soon as it came, we adults have seen more or less two dozen such summer storms, that once you realized that you are not. It can be thrilling and even fun to run it in serious danger, the worst of which is that we may have to clean up some damage to our roof. (But why were we in the basement?) Hey, living in this forest would be like that sometimes. Although what he needed was not to tell us not to be afraid of him; He needed to get rid of our fear before it got too big, and we couldn’t do it. Her resolve was shattered and she wept a little at first and then, briefly, a lot before the storm passed. He was safe the whole time, or reasonably safe anyway, but the fear was too great. To make it better, he just needs Mama and Dad: the key to understanding a little kid’s world is that we can do it, and he was still, in all his bravery, in all his sincere efforts to grow up, a little kid.
I can picture her face right now. Just before the first cry, the fear in his eyes became the most naked and the risk of grief. That’s when he learned something terrible, if I asked, he wouldn’t be able to say in words: the storms and fears that will go away or they won’t go away, if they do, it won’t happen because someone took it. Away for him; It will not be out of compassion. That is exactly what happened. That’s what it’s like here.
Fatherhood is a lot. Most of them are wonderful. One of them, though, is to slowly pile up all these little moments when you see your child learn something new and cool about the world, when you see that bad things, fear and pain and loss are slowly coming to their senses, they hurt you. Feeling we have ‘Run out of gas’ emotionally. When you can’t give them what they believed you could give. When you couldn’t do it better. When they were alone.
These little moments are hard to bear. Loving your child means you can give them the grace that holds the world together. Being terrified by a terrible ghost, you can’t stop them from learning what knowledge: it’s like here. You can only fail in the endeavor; Nowhere is the life of a small child as simple and full of joy as they first think. Even the happiest child will break their heart when the world betrays them and it will. Humorously and without hesitation or regret, perhaps without noticing. The consolation is that they can also learn good things about it, so that they can venture into it, including that they can be strong and become a kind and courageous and good person who can bring joy out of this tired old anger and sharing. Can It is with others.
What if they don’t get it? What then? Nineteen young children were shot and killed in their classroom in Texas on Tuesday, leaving them young and alive for no other reason in the world where a gunman could approach a man who wanted to kill young children. How was it for them, for each of the 19 little ones who started the day as a bed-headed goofball and ended it in a morgue? At the last minute they are there, I mean. Young children are left alone to face the darkness beyond description or comprehension. I picture my son’s face. How can I not? I see he’s lost in his push, he’s swallowed, I don’t know what it is or why it’s like that. Pinned by something too big and scary to understand. Just want to stop it, not let it happen. I remember how he stared into my eyes during the storm, to tell me what to do if he didn’t, to make it better for his parents – in that irrational little way, for the possibility that it was a bad way to lose him. Going and feeling lonely and small and scared, the world or anyone in it can be merciful and stop it. Trying to be brave and keep her lips in place, and then that huge fear engulfs her and makes her cry. I remember the sadness on her face just before the tears came, and how desperately I wished I could save her from it.
But I also think that after a few minutes, he felt better. An hour later she was playing video games with her brother and making strange noises. That next morning we cleared a car-shaped path under a tree that had fallen across the driveway and headed for the beach. That life goes on and finally he became a 13 year old healthy wise man and kept socks everywhere. Kids are amazingly resilient when allowed to be, when given the opportunity. He learned something sad and depressing during that storm, but he’s not going to write a world judgment yet, when it was still a beach trip and Mario Kart And those who love you in it.
What this country has shown in the violent, understandable last moments of their lives, when their loved ones could not protect them or stay with them or help them financially, these 19 little kids will never learn anything more about the world, what they have learned, His verdict. Look at America’s decision that this is the only way it can be. See more phrases for the short lives of young children and the lonely, terrified, violent deaths. Watch the adult squabbles and roll the dice on every little new person who greets the world with keen curiosity, who knows better than to guess that life can be led by gentleness and care. Look at discussing every little life against what they pretend to believe about some dirty shit written on a piece of parchment 200 years ago, no one could have imagined what happened at that school on Tuesday. This is what it’s like here. The next schoolroom filled with murdered children will include you or not, but in no way will it be because anyone who doesn’t want to be something can snatch it, or anyone has the power to snatch it. Careful to try. It will not be out of compassion. Whatever happens will happen.