Friday, June 23, 2006

Stolen innocence

Upon learning that children will be soon having a new sibling, most kids will speculate as to whether the baby will be a girl or a boy, or in the case of Shaylin, will declare her hope that the baby will just simply be cute. However my children, instead now just say they hope the baby will be healthy.

Innocence is something we take for granted with our children. We watch them learn and marvel over butterflies, the moon, clouds and take simple joy in thier experiences. It's very difficult when a part of that innocence is taken from your children, through no fault of anyone it's gone, forever.

I first became aware of this at the Ronald Mcdonald house when one day as I was sitting by the fireplace watching Shaylin and Jacksen play with thier little friends, I witnessed a game that both interested and saddened me. The game involved a baby doll and the children played out the scenario that the baby was sick and needed an ambulance, when the ambulance arrived these children, the oldest a mere 6, began putting "lines" in the baby and instructing each other on life saving measures.

My children now worry about things that are far beyond the imagination of most children. They worry if thier new sibling will be healthy, if he or she will live. They confront thier own mortality...... if babies can die, then children can too. They now know that people die and go away forever, aside from Jack who insists that every pair of baby shoes we see at the store would looke insanely adorable on "baby wex".

As sad as it is, there are also blessings involved. My children have a much greater appreciation for thier safety and thier lives than most other children. The families and special children we met at the house have shown them that people may not always be like them on the outside, but that's ok. They don't see things in black and white anymore. The fact that they know that nothing is forever, makes them more inclined to make the most of every day and to appreciate what they have been given. And that is a lesson that as parents we cannot teach, it's a lesson only learned through experience.

Thank you "baby wex", for helping show us ALL the way.

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