Sunday, July 26, 2015

Dear Children

*Originally posted 5/2/14*

Hi, my beautiful babies!

I love you dearly. I needed to say that first. 

I felt the need to write you a letter today. I am 23 years old, living with James and Jack in our small but perfect house in town, working at the school, and the sun is about to peak out after a rainy week. I sit at my desk, in the living room, next to the kitchen island counter. The desk has paperwork and mail all over it, but the living room is nice, clean, and fresh. I'm wearing jeans (my favorite jeans), a blue Nebraska t-shirt that I got from Jim, Brittany, and I's trip to Omaha last year, my hair is straight and down and red. I have my promise ring on from James, and my 2 St. Croix bracelets - my blue rope one and my Crucian hook. Jack is passed out behind me - what a bum! James is at the shop painting his basket for his new lift. 

Why am I telling you all this? Because I would love to read something like this from my mother or grandmother, but I don't get to. I just want to know what they were like on a regular day. So this is why I write to you. 

What triggered me to write today is a sad, horrific event. A student from the school I work at was arrested. He looked suspicious at a storage unit and a cautious person decided she should call the police and have him checked out "in case." The police found bombs in that storage unit. They went to his home and found more bombs, guns, and a journal. 

He admitted to wanting to murder his family, bomb the school, and shoot as many people as he could before he was shot. He also admitted to wanting to do this on the anniversary of Columbine, but this year that happened to fall on a Sunday - no school. So he changed his date. He was going to do this next week. It's hard to believe this kind of tragedy could potentially happen next week, where many people would have been killed, and the town would never be the same. 

I thank God for that person who called him in. Thank God for that person being cautious and aware. It's God's miracle that this happened. 

Everyone around the town and in it are different today. They hurt inside, but are so grateful at the same time. This could have wrecked so many lives and I know I would never be the same. 

Working for the superintendent, I got to hear first-hand the new reports coming in. I got to see a man who everyone looks at to protect the school, get bombarded by press and parents and staff. He is a man of God, though, and I think his faith and strong beliefs pulled him through this. He handled it very well. 

My point after my story is this: be a better person.

Everyone keeps asking "Why is this younger generation doing all these attacks?!" But they are not stopping to think that it's the parents who need the accountability for this. 

Bad parents allow their children to do whatever they want. The child goes to school during the day, comes home and can do whatever they please. Free access to the TV, to the computer, to the Internet, and to be shut-away in their room. The parents dealt with work or school or their image all day, and "the kids are fine." They go get McDonald's and knock on their kids door, hand them their food, and walk away. They don't understand the importance of sitting around the table together, eating a home-cooked meal, and talking to one another. 

Instead, the kids can play violent video games, see and find whatever they want on the internet, and get brainwashed by TV. Kid's should not have free access to the internet. There are so many things on the internet that are a negative influence: chat rooms, strangers, private information getting revealed, porn, abuse, violence, and an open door to learn about bad things - like bombs and how to make them. This kid had to of studied Columbine on the internet - enough to even "praise" the killers. He had to of used the internet to learn about making bombs. And I bet he used it to buy materials for bombs. 

Kids should not get to watch anything they want on TV. I guess you can say "Bitch" and "Whore" on cable TV now, and they don't even bleep it out. They show violence - hitting, kicking, punching. They worship people who are not worth worshipping. God is worth worshipping! TV promotes bad food choices. And some parents let their kid see it all. Why?

Kids should not be allowed video games, especially violent ones. Why put them in a simulated situation with guns and grenades and stealing cars?

Kids should be outside more. I know I was raised with free-range access to the internet, the TV, video games, and bad food. But we were outside. We wanted to be outside. Riding bikes and being on our rope swing and playing softball and making forts were the best moments!

Babies, I'm going to try and raise you how children should be raised. I know I will fail at times. I will get upset at times. I will hurt your feelings. And you're not going to understand some of the things I do.

"Why don't we get to watch TV like everyone else? Why don't we get to go on Facebook and the computer? Why can't I get a Playstation for Christmas?"

Because I love you. Because I know what's best for you. Because I know that being a kid, outside or reading or playing with friends or eating at the dinner table... is going to do you good. 

I want to bring your relationship close to God. I want you to pray when I'm not even there to tell you to pray. I want you to help me with house chores, and help your dad with fixing things outside. I want to see your clothes dirty and filled with grass stains. I may regret saying that one later ;)  I want you to read a book so you can create this whole story in your mind and use your imagination. 

I want to fill your life with the things you will need to succeed. I am going to punish you when you do wrong, and praise you when you do right. I am going to be there for you whenever you need me - you'll know where to find me. I want our dinner table full of hungry and eager smiles ready to pray and thank God for our meal and all the things He has blessed us with, And then stuff your cute perfect faces with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy :) And then say "Golly, Mama, that meal was so goooood." (Which is hands-down the best compliment you or James or anyone can give me. Well, maybe the best compliment will be "You raised those kids right." I can't wait to hear that one.)

Everything I do, I do it for you. (Thanks, Bryan Adams, for that.) 

So I hope you're raised right by the time you read this. I hope your faith is strong in the Lord. I hope you enjoyed many home-cooked meals at the table. I hope the internet and TV and video games have no control over you. I hope our relationship is close and strong. And Dad's, too. I hope you're smart and determined. I hope you have a big heart, and are humble. I hope you are happy and grateful and thankful.

And I hope you know just how much I love you. I love you now as I type this, and I'm not even engaged, or married, or pregnant with you, or have met you, or have been a parent myself. But I think about you everyday. And I only want the best life for you. 

Remember that, my sweet darlings. I will always be there.

Now get off the computer :)

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