Parenting white kids in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The world feels too overwhelming right now.

I’ve had to carefully filter what I’m consuming. I’m only reading books with happy endings. I’m only watching uplifting movies. I’m ignoring the news and unfriending lots of people on social media. I’m pretending the pandemic isn’t a thing.

In this moment I feel an odd mix of excitement and possibility and hope in what’s to come for me personally and utter helplessness and despair about the state of our country.

It’s a very confusing jumble of emotions.

The other day, in a desperate attempt to do something about the mess our country is in, I tried to help our kids understand racism. I told them in detail what happened with George Floyd. Tyce immediately burst into tears, Cara froze in horror and I watched their sweet hearts break. In their innocence they couldn’t process the fact that people could treat each other that way.

As I watched their faces crumble and heard their small, incredulous voices ask in disbelief “Why would he do that?”, I had the sudden feeling I was drowning. I had jumped into the depths of the ocean without meaning to. I wished I could rewind the tape 15 minutes. I wished I could take back my words and undo what I’d shared with them. I wondered if I had made a huge mistake.

As a parent, I’m trying to walk the line impossible between helping our kids see and understand the evil in this world and allowing them an unburdened and carefree childhood.

Do I sacrifice the innocence of childhood in order to teach my kids how to handle the pain of this world?

The ugliness of the world will show itself to our kids soon enough. Should I be the one introducing it to them? But how else will I teach them how to navigate it well? I don’t even know how to navigate it well. How in the world am I supposed to teach it?

I cried a lot that night. I asked God to take my good intentions and my faulty words and somehow use them to grow hearts of compassion in my children.

Ultimately Chris and I believe our job as parents is to prepare our kids to launch. And the world they are launching into is a dark place full of evil and sin and they need to understand the light and hope and truth that they can bring into it.

So everything in my mama heart wants to shelter and protect my kids from the pain of this world, what I want more is to help them become adults who love all people well, view the world with compassion, fight for what’s right and good and share the beautiful redemption that life in Christ offers.

So I slowly break their hearts little by little and trust that God will comfort and heal them and somehow help them make sense of this broken and hurting world.

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