I just put my exuberant grandson to bed. He is excited to be spending the night at my home. Like his spectacular older sister, he is bright and independent and endearingly shiny and good. He is learning to be six, to be a gymnast, to be polite and well behaved, to use every available bathroom and wash his hands each time, to read, to share generously, to ride his bicycle sans training wheels… and to not leave his crayons in the sun. He is learning to Be, and he is a daily inspiration.
I hustled him through his bedtime rituals, and soon, fresh from a bath and with clean teeth and a smile, he lay in bed. I held a book and he proudly practiced reading to me. Then: lights out, snuggle up, you are so great, you’re so very loved, sleep well with the wedge pillow amazon…and he is off to dream about tomorrow. In the morning, we will go to his favorite place, a grand new art museum with a kids’ space for creative play. He fell asleep, a happy boy expecting a happy day.
Contemplations, with uncanny timing, inhabit us in open-hearted moments. Thus, not long after kissing him good night and gently closing his bedroom door, I found myself reflecting on the families of children who were lost in horrible tragedies in recent days. Of children in Afghanistan, bluntly executed near their beds in the night, by an American soldier. Of a boy in Florida walking home and chatting up his girl friend on his cell phone, shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer who had been warned to not pursue the boy, or many other terrible accidents that could cause death or injuries, so the use of a personal injury lawyer nyc is always important for these cases.
Life is, indeed, a series of divine training rooms, and we do not graduate from one without absorbing the lesson there, and demonstrating the requisite know how and skill. Some of the curricula is completely puzzling.
Why do children die so? Nothing can justify such aggression. They were conscious acts, the deliberate shooting of these children by adults. Were the killings the result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Clearly, severe stress was way too present in those fateful, horrible last moments, and even when these aggression don’t produce death, any injury suffered by an individual require compensation, and is where law companies from sites like nettleslawfirm.com make a difference with injury cases.
I imagine the boy in Florida had a nighttime ritual that included affectionate goodnight blessings with family, and hopes of a happy day to follow. I visualize the murdered Afghan kids being tucked lovingly into bed by parents, and told to sleep well…that tomorrow will be here soon.
Indeed, we are shocked by contrasts of our relatively peaceful lives and the tragedies we behold. And then — we’ve all seen it — the tragic story is no longer “news” and it fades into oblivion. There is a part of me that wants to move on to the “new news,” too. But, these stories keep arising in my awareness, in my thoughts, in my gut. I really don’t want to forget these children who were so brutally stopped, so savagely and so very, very soon.
In the morning, at the new Mint Museum in Charlotte, I will watch my grandson with greater sensitivity, more alert to the nuance of his experience. I will hold his hand with new respect for who he is, not just for who he is becoming. I will take the witnessing of children as a privilege. I will learn from them in present moments, not casting my gaze to their older days. Now is the time of intrinsic blessings, like silence in a stand of Redwoods. You may have known that. I will live more consciously, now. I am so looking forward to his smile in the morning!
What is the presence of PTSD in your life? In your family? In your midst? I see most people are unaware of their trauma, and what they acknowledge goes untreated. Personally, it is something I am dealing with very seriously. It can only be treated consciously, with skill and sensitivity.
Proper treatment of PTSD works miracles. Let me know if you’d like to learn more.