September 12, 2016

In My Daughter's Eyes

It's funny how you remember the exact moment a significant event occurs. I will never forget where I was the morning of September 11, 2001. It was grade 10 and my first period fitness class was just ending. I was in the shower, washing off the sweat from the unpleasant morning run. Second shower stall on the right. 

I didn’t hear the initial announcement from the principal over the rushing water of the shower. But, when I got out, someone in my class filled me on what had just happened. It was something along the lines of, "A plane hit a building in New York City." I didn't fully understand.

Despite living in Canada, everything came to a standstill at school that morning. Our focus shifted from getting the semester started to the many TVs set up in the classrooms and discussing what this meant for us, for our cousins south of the border, and for the rest of the world.

It’s crazy to believe that 15 years have passed since that day. Fifteen years have passed since that innocent 15 year old girl had to learn how cruel the world she calls home can really be.

protecting our future generations

As my daughter napped yesterday morning, I sat on the couch and watched the many tributes to those that lost their lives on that earth shattering day. It made me sad. It made me sad for all of those affected, both for those who lost their lives and for their loved ones. It made me sad for my generation. It made me sad for our future generations. And, it made me sad for my daughter, who was sleeping peacefully in her crib with her Johnny Cash lullabies playing in the background, innocently unaware of the significance of the day.

While she is only six months old, in my daughter's eyes, the world as she knows it is a peaceful, happy one. Significant moments in history that we have witnessed, both happy and sad, are things that she will one day learn from a text book. Or, whatever piece of technology has replaced the text book at that time.

As I currently watch her sitting contently on the living room floor, playing with her toys, I see it. I see it as she happily plays with the plastic measuring spoons I have given her as a distraction tool. And I see it when my frustration and tiredness have built to an all time high, yet all she does is smile when she sees my face. The innocence of a child is an amazingly beautiful thing, but it is also heartbreaking. 

As mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, we long to protect our children’s innocence, to shield them from the stark realities of the world we live in. Nowadays, children's minds are filled with violence and disturbing images they see online or on TV, when all they should be concerned about is just being a child. At 15 years old, I shouldn't have had to of known what a terrorist attack was. Yet, in today’s day, the word is becoming more and more common. 

Whether it is a warming climate, environmental destruction, rapidly advancing technology, financial crises or countries at war, I can't help but think, when my daughter is that innocent 15 year old girl, when she is welcoming a family of her own and when she is entering the years beyond, what will the world be?

“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” - Walt Disney quote

“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”- Walt Disney

I know I can't protect my daughter forever. I know she is not immune to what goes on around her. Eventually, she will have to learn for herself. But, I can help her. I can teach her by leading by example, by showing gratitude, and most importantly, by letting her know, that no matter what does go on, what it means to be loved.

Do you have the same worries for the children of today and for our future generations? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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