Saturday, June 30, 2007

Anywhere but here

Dear girls,

It's easy for me to sit here, sinus headache and all, and list all the things I don't want you to see in this world. And, that's how this post was going to start out, actually. But, I know that isn't the most positive of lists and I want to be positive today.

You and I see things where we live. We hear things. Things people shouldn't see or hear, especially little girls. It's a debate weighing on my mind. To stay or go. To stay means you will grow up rightfully seeing black, brown and white people living amongst each other as neighbors and friends. You will see respect among all people.

But, since we are also surrounded by many uneducated, poor people, you will see things and hear things that only television should provide as a fantasy, as fiction. Like mothers cursing and beating their children. Like gunshots fired down the street. Like crack houses. Men fighting, verbally and physically.

All of these are fleeting. They often pass in the night like a nightmare. We wake up sweaty, breathless and scared, but it passes. It always does. And all the good rises to the top, again. We start smiling again. We start finding our hope again.

As your parents, we want to protect your mind from learning about the bad, yet we want to introduce you to the good. For us, the good means learning about all of humanity, not just the majority. It also means helping to save America's dying cities. It means standing up for the disadvantaged.

But, I can't help but wonder, at what expense are we teaching these lessons? Is "taking the long way around" the right thing to do as parents?


Shannon said...

I've been thinking a lot lately about something similar. I grew up a very sheltered child with very fearful parents. I find myself being completely overprotective of my kids, something I want to change. I think it's more important that they are educated about the world--about life--than protected from it. I would give up my safety-net childhood in a heartbeat for some bruises and life experience. I'm just not sure how to do this for them. But I know education is the key to saving us all--life's lessons and formal education both.

Candace & Anna said...

We are going to be moving back to my home town soon for a few of the reasons you mentioned. Currently we live in a nice neighborhood but if you go just a few miles down the road you will find ladies of the night and drug dealers. I want to educate Anna but I also want her to be safe and free to play a little more than she is here.