Watching the news on television, I’m feeling a bit discouraged. There are riots, protests, and all types of violent acts, that sadly enough, no longer surprise me. There are the stories about gas prices, superbugs, unemployment, and taxes. There are the debates about guns, and which ones are dangerous. Politicians are working to solve our problems, and every solution seems to start with an argument.
Trying to guess what direction the world is headed can be overwhelming. I click the button, turning off the chaos to focus on the two-week old baby boy I’m cradling in my arms. All is quiet, even the dogs are sleeping. My son’s face is one of complete contentment. My mind flashes back to the images of anger and violence. How do babies grow up to do such things?
It seems that hate is taught, so I decided to start by showing him love and affection. This should be easy, as I never imagined I could love something as much as I do my newborn son. I’ll raise him in a house where love and laughter are abundant, where mistakes are allowed and accepted. (and because dad is quite accident prone). My wife and I are far from perfect, but hopefully he’ll appreciate the effort.
His home should be the one place where he feels safe and comfortable. After all, it’s bad enough that I can’t send him out in a bubble, because believe me, I’ve thought about it. I want his home to be where he finds stability, where he knows that no matter what is going on in his life, mom and dad are in his corner.
I decided that we’ll teach him to treat other with fairness and respect. The world’s a big place and everyone’s different, he should know that that’s okay; it’s what makes life interesting.
These may not seem like the loftiest of goals, but I’m starting small and keeping it simple, because the complexity of the world can overwhelm us if we let it. I think adults can learn from children. They’re a clean slate, pure and innocent, until we as wise adults teach them who and what to like and dislike. To me, my son is a living breathing reminder that there is still good in a world sorely in need of miracles.
Maybe if we can manage to keep our household free of the stress and chaos that we see so often on television, it will be the first step in helping our son make his way. All we can do is give it our best to raise him right, and then hope and pray that the rest of the world will do the same.
The future is uncertain, both inside our house and out. There will be crying, temper tantrums, and meltdowns, just as there will be violence, hate, and war. But for now, all is calm in the house, and my son’s little world is stable. I’ll try to keep it this way.