I recently went and had lunch with my six-year old at his elementary school. It was such a fun little field trip for me! There’s nothing like a cafeteria full of Kindergartners…let me tell ya!
I soaked up every minute of his “not-too-cool-for-Mom” affection too. When he came in from recess and saw me sitting there, (with McDonald’s no less-sorry peeps) he RAN at break-neck speed and threw his arms around me. Ahhh….I love him and his endless hugs!
After lunch, I walked back to the classroom with my beaming six-year old and his inquisitive class. When we arrived at our destination, I had a few forms I needed to sign for an upcoming field trip. I was filling them out while the class had “quiet time”. One student walked up to the teacher to show her his “free drawing” he had made. He proudly announced, “It’s Jason!”.
My ears perked up and I thought to myself, “surely he doesn’t mean the horror film dude…” oh no, yup, that’s exactly what he meant. My eyes looked at his beaming, proud face and back at his paper and then at his teacher as she sent him back to his seat. What could she say?
I realized something kind of all at once in that moment: my husband and I are going to have to fight a tough battle to retain our children’s innocence.
This isn’t the first time I realized that parents let their kids do stuff that shock me as a mom unfortunately. Earlier this spring, our 7-year old neighbor told us that for St. Patrick’s Day, his Dad rented all the Leprechaun horror videos and let him watch the entire series. I wanted to throw up.
I just don’t get it. I mean I can relate to the feeling of joy at sharing life with your kids. There is nothing more fun than giving a little one ice cream for the first time, showing them their first movie on the big screen or standing outside in the cold air and watching them discover that they.can.see.their.breath! There is awe and mystery and beauty being revealed and it’s the coolest part of being a parent.
But somehow down the road, our sin got tangled up in all that. And now you have parents showing six-year-olds movies about mass murders by psychopaths. You have parents thinking that horror movies full of naked women are EXCELLENT choices in entertainment for first graders.
As our eldest child goes about the business of growing up in this world we live in, my husband and I are watching with bewildered eyes at the things other families and just society is presenting to him. It haunts me sometimes. I am shocked that people are so quick to expose their children to stuff like this. No wonder people are so desensitized to death, disease and torment around the world! Kids are presented with so much violence and it’s done in such a way that they are taught to think, “hey, this is no big deal”. But this is not life. This is not the way things were meant to be.
I know it will be an uphill battle protecting our kids and interpreting for them what gets by us. People around me will think we are crazy for not letting our children watch certain movies OR tv, for not letting them have a tv OR a computer in their bedrooms-ever, people will think our family is nuts for sheltering like we will. And you know? I’m ok with that.
We plan to err on the side of innocence as we parent. How refreshing would our world be if more of us let our kids retain their purity while they can? Is there nothing pure, nothing holy, nothing worth upholding in our world?