Lights in the Distance

Observations and musings regarding new mommyhood and life in general.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I see snow falling...

"I look out my window. I see snow falling. It falls very quietly. I can't hear it falling. I will go out tomorrow and make a snowman. I will give it two eyes and a nose and a mouth."

I must have written that when I was around eight or nine years old (Mom and Dad, feel free to add a comment if you can remember how old I was when I wrote this), and my parents have saved it all these years. They faxed it to me yesterday, and my husband was quite amused, reading out loud from the page written in the carefully printed handwriting of a young child. To be honest, I don't remember writing it, given that it was so long ago, but I do remember the innocence of my childhood, building snowmen and snow forts in the Winter (Snowball fight tip #1: adding spit to the packed snowball gives it an icy edge that will inflict a bit more pain on your opponent), playing kickball, monster in the midnight and spud (does anyone else remember spud?) in the Summer. We could play in the streets and around the neighborhood without our parents having to worry. We knew nothing of children being abducted, and we certainly knew nothing of terror attacks. The most frightening thing we could think of was disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle, which, given the fact that we lived in a small town in Upstate New York, was highly unlikely.

A couple of years ago, I heard the neighborhood children playing outside under our living room window. Hearing the typical banter of kids at play made me smile, until I heard one of them say, "this time I want to be the suicide bomber." When did cowboys and Indians become terrorists and victims? This is not to say that children here have a bad childhood. On the contrary, the children I see around me are happy, normal children, and aside from the dangers of "the situation" that plague all of us, most of the people I know feel that Israel is a better place to raise children than the US, and I am inclined to agree.

Despite this, I can't help but feel saddened by the world's loss of innocence, where children are taught to be wary of strangers and to watch out for suspicious objects, where parents bury their children, where lives are senselessly cut short by bombs and bullets and anything else that the depraved minds of those who feel that violence is the only way to achieve their goals can come up with. It's more than a little depressing to think about the experiences of today's youth, and their knowledge of the current events that may or may not be directly affecting their lives. I wonder about the world in which my unborn baby will grow up, and I long for the naivete of my own childhood, for snow days in Winter and neighborhood games of monster ball in Summer.

Snowball fight tip #2: if the snowball is not packed well, it will break apart as soon as it's thrown, leaving puffs of powdered snow flying through the air as it quickly disintegrates into nothing.


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