I took Adele to the playground on Sunday afternoon after her nap. She was excited to swing and she showed great courage by going down a big slide all by herself. For awhile it was just the two of us, and then a dad showed up with his daugther and they started playing hide and seek. No biggie. But then, a roving band of middle school-aged kids showed up and drama ensued.
Adele was sitting amongst three older kids on the swings when the conversation turned a little too foul for this mama’s taste. These young kids were talking about how one of the other girls had spit on them, about someone else’s boyfriend, and then started using language that I won’t repeat and would like to cleanse from my and Adele’s ears. (You understand, right, that she’s at an age where she repeats almost everything.)
So, undecided as to whether to say something directly to the foul-mouthed, unsupervised kids or to simply leave, I opted to pluck Adele off her swing and head for home. (Much to her dismay, by the way.)
This situation has been bothering me all week for several reasons, but mostly because I don’t like the fear I felt at the moment and even now. I am afraid for my daugther to grow up in this messed up world. I am afraid that she’ll want to go to that playground to play with her friends some day, and I won’t be able to forget what I witnessed on Sunday. I’m afraid that girls will talk about her and be mean. I’m afraid she’ll get her feelings hurt or, worse, get her heart broken. I’m afraid that I won’t be good at demonstrating forgiveness and grace when inside I’m seething because of whatever wrong has been done.
This is yet another element of parenthood that I am unprepared for. I seriously feel like I need to quit my job and spend 24 hours a day on my knees because without the all-consuming grace, love, and protection of the Father, I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to watch my baby grow up.
This world is so broken.