Odd thoughts enter my head when I hear that people have died because someone chose to strap explosives to their body, situate themselves in a populated area, and press the button. I wonder about the bomber’s immunization record. Did their parents stand in line to get them vaccinated? Was their body as it blew to bits immune from Polio? I would think so. And that their mother shouted when they ran out into the street without looking or got too close to the stove. Their mother probably kissed their head when she held them in her arms, cheered when they did well in games. Took pictures as they grew. But at some point an idea took seed that it was acceptable to destroy their body—this beautiful, immunized gift they’d been given—in the name of God.
With suicide bombers striking our metropolitan centers, now is not the perfect time to be a mother. But, then again, there has never been a perfect time to be a mother. During times of war, depression, plagues, inquisitions, mothers have mothered on—protecting, feeding, and rearing children as best they could. Some were better, more dialed in, than others. I think we can all give a round of applause to Abe Lincoln’s mom. Adolph Hitler’s? Not so much. As mothers, we worry, and terrorism is just one of the many things on a long list. We want to tell them that there is no reason to fear, but that’s not possible, not after San Bernadino, Charlie Hedbo, the Brussels airport. Not after 9/11. But we don’t want them to lose sleep, because that’s our job, and, besides, we really need them to go to sleep! So what do we do?
The answer is simple, we mother. We teach, we laugh, we fix meals, we correct bad behavior, we immunize, and we show them through our actions (and sometimes our words), that the holiest war of all is the one against evil. When we as parents value life, we help our children to value life, including that life that is their own. We can help them see that the world is a safer place, because of people like them, who help others, who clean up their room (we might as well throw that in), and who stand against bullying in all its forms. The time for them picking up their principles from Pokemon is over. As mothers, we need to dial in. We need to step up. We need to help them save their world.