A Vow to Play Even Harder

Thoughts have been tumbling around in my head since I first heard about the horrible events in Newtown, CT last Friday.  Between the anger, profound sadness and many tears, I couldn’t help but wonder if this tragedy will affect the way I parent.  Of course, we all naturally use events like these to pull closer to our families and vow to remember how blessed and lucky we are to have each other.  Like many of you, I hugged and kissed my children over the weekend to the point of annoyance, neither of them really aware of why their mom was so maddeningly affectionate or tearful.

When I dropped my son off at school on Monday morning, I found the doors to his peaceful, secluded school locked for the first time in the six years we’ve attended.  Part of me was relieved (they’re taking every precaution!), and part of me was heartbroken (so this is what we’ve come to).

My chain of worrisome thoughts always returns to this: there is only so much I can do to keep my children safe.  Yes, we can reflect on the tragic events and put great minds together to find ways to prevent any more heinous crimes such as this.  We can and we must.  But as I go about my everyday life with my children, I feel a stronger conviction than ever to continue our Risky ways.

The ultimate goal of The Risky Kids is to share ways to raise kids who are independent, resilient, brave, and above all, happy.  There is tremendous pride and joy in climbing a tree, learning to make something yourself, and conquering the fear of the unknown.  I hope that should a dangerous situation ever present itself to my kids, they will have the skills we’ve taught them through play to come out unharmed.  But, God help us all, if they find themselves in a situation beyond our control that takes their lives?  Then more than anything I want to know that their lives up until their final moment were filled with adventure, love, laughter and joy.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.  I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid.  The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning.  I keep on swallowing.  ~ C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Instead of panic and fear, let’s turn our hands and hearts to love and service.

Victoria Haller, @VDog on Twitter, is one of the first bloggers I ever met, way back in my early Blissdom days.  Her nephew, Noah Pozner, was one of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook.  If you are feeling called to do something more, please consider helping out this family.  Noah leaves behind 3 siblings, including his twin sister.  The family has set up a trust to help Noah’s siblings during this time of grief.  If you would like to donate you, you can do so through Noah’s Ark of Hope Fund.  You can also send cards, drawings, and notes of love to Noah’s family here:

Noah’s Ark of Hope Fund

261 S. Main St. #332

Newtown, CT 06470

I’d like to leave you with a link to this post – Noah Pozner: a force of nature – written by Noah’s grandmother.  It’s a sweet tribute to Noah’s spirit in all its 6-year-old glory.  We will never forget you, Noah, nor will we forget the other children who lost their lives or the adults who died protecting them.  We vow to play harder than ever for you and your friends. Their spirits will live on through our pursuit of play.