M: what comes after 2021?
M: oh, okay. So, 2023, 2024...
M: when will it be 2020 again?
M: (obviously struck a chord of sadness.)
B: aw, I'm sorry, I know. Its hard to say goodbye to time...but we will do lots of exciting things in 2021.
M: will we still be a family?
B: of course!! Oh my goodness, nothing can ever change that.
M: will there still be God?
B: oh, yes, nothing ever separates us from God.
M: will anything bad happen this year?
Sadly, yes. Bad things happen. That is an unavoidable truth our children should know.
It doesn't mean we ruminate on the bad things or live anxiously in fear of them. Instead, we remove the dichotomy lens of good and bad and we focus on instilling a superseding truth brought forth in this very conversation:
Nothing can separate us from God's love.
There's been a lot of discussion around change over the last year. Our world was literally upended by the pandemic and no one has been able to restrain themselves from expressing the desire for things to return to normal at some point.
There's been positive change, too; greater awareness of how to treat one another or hold regard for one another, despite even differences of opinion, coming up with innovative ways to conduct our daily lives with greater freedom and accessibility like working remotely, flex scheduling, and connecting with others virtually.
But let us not miss the opportunity to explain to our children the things that never change, what will always remain, even under the most dire of circumstances.
1. God's love for us.
2. Our love for each other.
As the adult, you may think that's a no brainer. But it may not be as internalized for your child yet, particularly during times of duress, and especially for children who may be more sensitive to change, in general.
So we read this Bible verse together.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38 - 39) NIV
We thought of some songs together that remind us we are loved. I have never been one for typical lullabies. I like singing gospel hymns or soft contemporary music over my children. Thinking of songs that express love, specifically, was surprisingly challenging for me, further reinforcing the need for instilling a reminder. In case you struggle with this, too, here are some I came up with:
Boats and Birds by Gregory and The Hawk
Comfort by Deb Talan
Your Song by Elton John
The Rainbow Connection by Kermit
Do You Remember by Jack Johnson
I have two young sons, ages six and four. From pregnancy and beyond, they have been mirroring back to me more than I ever could have dreamed of learning about myself and my own growth. As we grow together through this life, I hope to always mirror back to them the same inspiration, strength, and wonder they have shown me.