A day and a half ago, Japan was devastated by a major earthquake and subsequent tsunami. I was just watching some footage of the tsunami destroying everything in it's path, entire cities and villages gone. This footage was set to music, and the juxtaposition of the the catastrophic images against the back drop of gentle and serene music was haunting.
I found myself overcome by the realization of how not only the world as you know it, but your perception of it, will grow and change as you do. You are blissfully unaware of tragedy. You have no concept of the awesome power of nature to both sustain life and destroy it in an instant. You know nothing of the dangers of compromised nuclear energy. You can't count to 5, much less understand the magnitude of the loss of life in a disaster like this.
As you grow more and more aware of your surroundings, the questions will come. You will look to me and your father to explain, to make sense of tragedy and sadness. Will it shatter your world? Will your curiosity turn to fear, your zeal for life to apathy? At times, when I let myself think of how big this job is, the job of parenting and raising you to adulthood as resilient and well-rounded as possible, I start to doubt myself. How will I manage it, when teething pain and having to wear socks when you don't want to are no longer the worst traumas you have to face or make sense of?
Just when I couldn't follow this train of thought any longer, when my eyes filled with tears as the images on the screen in front of me became more than I could bear, I glanced over at where you were playing on the floor with your toys. My sorrowful eyes were met with your smile and the vision of you swaying gently to the beautiful music. You couldn't see what I was seeing; you simply heard lovely, rich tones filling the air; moving you in a joyful manner.
While I don't have all the answers today, and I won't have them tomorrow; I don't have to. For now, I can simultaneously feel heartbroken at the calamity facing so many and overjoyed to experience the world as you see it, a safe, happy place filled with love, laughter, and music.
Note to Readers:
For a simple way to contribute to the relief efforts in Japan, text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to relief efforts in Japan. The donation will be billed directly to your cell phone bill.