Monday, November 10, 2008

Warning: Living may be dangerous to your health

I got a band-aid out the other day and this is what I read on the teeny tiny wrapper…”Warning: To avoid suffocation, keep plastic bags away from children.” Really? I’m trying to picture a child working really hard to shove a band-aid wrapper over her head. Not working. It has to either be a REALLY big wrapper or a kid with a TINY little, finger-shaped head to pose any danger. Now I’m wondering, was I this way with my kids? Super over-protective? Warning them and worrying about things that weren’t likely to happen? I do have a big imagination, but I don’t think my girls would tell you I was overprotective. I hope they felt protected but not suffocated.

We lived a weird life when they were growing up. It started out pretty normal. You know – backyard swing sets, learning to ride a bike, going to the park with other families to barbecue and play volleyball. But when Angela was about 7 and Tessa 4, we thought we heard God calling and started on a 10 year odyssey. New York, Belarus, Bulgaria, Phoenix, Johannesburg. Instead of watching Sesame Street, they were helping serve hot dogs and cokes (franks and sodas) in tough inner-city neighborhoods of New York, playing Barbies in the warehouse behind pallets of medicine destined for Belarus, climbing on broken slides on playgrounds littered with glass shards in Sophia, Bulgaria, or observing the inequality of shanty towns that cropped up overnight behind the mall in Johannesburg.

They were definitely not sheltered. There’s a big difference between being sheltered and being protected. I hope they felt protected. I certainly know that although we tried to teach them they were not the center of THE universe, they were always the center of OUR universe!

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