Director of Faith Development's Messages
It is unfathomable and shocking, once again, to be in the shadow of tragedy. Patriots Day 2013 and the traditional Boston Marathon is heavy with wounding in so many ways, and we are scared. We reach out to others, we pray, we work, we distract. Meanwhile, the children cuddle and then run off and play. While so much feels wrong right now, our daily routines for work, school, play, meals, and rest are the ways to provide the healthy framework and comfort that our children need.
Meanwhile the children play, and watch us. For some of us, we are mustering all the wisdom and courage we can to answer questions or more likely, to try to make our children feel safe while we say, “I don’t know.” We can ask them, "what do you want to know?" May we be clear and honest, now....weeks and months from now. No matter what we choose to say or not say, let us be reminded that as parents, elders, mentors, and role models in our children’s lives, we show them the depth of our caring. We continue with normalcy, somehow. This is what our wise experts share with us, every time. Children have powerful instincts to express themselves, to protect themselves, and to get a little closer to us for a little while.
We hold in our hearts all the families, friends, children, adults who are suffering. These people are us, and we are them. Children fear that the event might happen again, that someone close to them will be hurt or will die, or that they will be left alone or separated from their family. We fear this too. May we be allowed to slow down and nurture ourselves and our families. May each of us light a candle for our neighbors and visitors who have been affected by this terrible happening.
It is important to keep in mind that each family is processing this with their children in their own way. That means that some parents are intentionally deciding not to share any details about yesterday's incident with their children. Let us muster the courage and calm to be with our children in the way that they need us, knowing all the while that we will need time to steal ourselves a bit of solitude to come undone.
Meanwhile, in places at home, near and far, adults and some children gather for vigils, candle lightings, hugs and prayers. During one such vigil here are UUCR the children gathered in the space next door. While adults deepened into powerful silence and tears, laughter may have been heard. Many adults – professional caregivers and lifetime caregivers – joined a circle of children of all ages. Together they made colorful name tags, decorated cookies, and then returned to a circle for fun. Silly games became epic as each person, of various sizes and ages, embraced the opportunity to work together towards a single goal, a shared victory. They played big, laughed hard, and settled in deeply to talking games that required everyone’s questions, thoughtfulness, and support. No small metaphors for the ways we we can give our children age-appropriate, specific ways to help them know that they can help restore family and community.
Meanwhile, may we seek out comforting connections in all our circles of family, friends, and community…..as we let the children play.