Moments of Innocence

Being home allows me to witness moments with my children that I wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. Sometimes these occasions involve something of great fun for them such as going to the park or a friend’s birthday party, but for me capturing the ordinary has been the most interesting and rewarding.

One of my favorites: My son and daughter sit on the bench before the school bus comes and he puts his arm around her and says, ”I have to go to school now.” So matter of fact. Like a little old man.

Or my daughter trying to climb up on the couch all by herself to reach the stuffed dog and, when she gets there she cuddles it and laughs in delight, as if it was real and returning her affection.

In these moments my kids do not know the evils of the world and I wish I could keep it that way forever. I wish I could shield them from the truths that they will undoubtedly encounter one day.

For now I’m reminded of the poem Good Bones by Maggie Smith that seems so perfectly to express the struggle that I imagine many parents fear because these ordinary, simplistic, innocent moments are far too fleeting.

Good Bones by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

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