I am reading Ishmael Beah's memoir "A Long Way Home" tracing his childhood. Born in Sierra Leon, he was only 13 years old when rebels attacked his village, forcing him to flee on foot and eventually becoming an involuntary recruit of those rebels. As I read his story and admire his resilience, I have also had some fears brought to the surface.
I keep thinking about the enormous responsibility that I have to ensure my children's physical and emotional safety. While they are highly unlikely to be in a situation like that of Ishmael's, even less serious situations, like bullying at school, can leave a child with a lot of pain and confusion to sort through. They were born content and with no preocupations, so it almost feels like it's up to me to keep them that way.
But also know that they will have to learn to stand up for themselves and deal with what life has to bring. The delicate balance of allowing them to make their own mistakes, yet intervening (successfully, I hope) if a big mistake is in the making, is no small thing. I think Luca and Andre are still too young, but eventually, especially in their teen years, they'll resent my involvement and sometimes they'll be right and I'll be wrong. I just hope that when they come out the other end, they understand that I'm doing my best. Most importantly, I hope that they do their own best.