Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

September 19, 2011

Happily Ever After?

I was talking with a friend at church yesterday about kids and their wonderful belief in happily ever afters...

She and her daughter are participating in a Mother & Daughter book club (awesome idea by the way) and they just finished a book with a not so happy ending, but rather a real ending. Her daughter told her that she prefers happy endings and the question quickly rose, do we protect them from reality for as long as we can? I have thought about it all night and into today...

I can't promise my kids a happily ever after, even if both were perfectly healthy normal children, we live in a broken world where anything could happen. Tim or I could be in an accident, one of them could get seriously hurt, the hurts and bruises of the world can and will impact them as they grow up. I can't shield them from that, nor can I promise a happy ending, however, I can prepare them for the reality that sometimes strikes with a vengeance. I can teach them how to grow strong in adversity rather than crumble under it's weight, how to hang on to hope rather than give in to despair, reach out in prayer rather than turn away in anger, use their gifts and love to help others who need it rather than selfishly hoard it for themselves. I can teach them about the one who saves, the one who promises that while this world can't offer peace, He can, and one day he will offer them the ultimate happily ever after.

I have seen the products of brokenness where there is no hope, I have seen the devastation of 'reality' and the end result of searching for that allusive 'happily ever after', and my hope and prayer is that as parents we get to see both our boys end up with the dream, the happy ever after ending that any parent would dream of for their kids but can I do all that while still making sure that they are ready for life when it hits them smack in the head?

If nothing else motherhood has taught me that life is full of ups and downs, hills and valley's and sometimes it seems dark and hopeless, and sometimes the sun shines so brightly that it's hard to look up. I have learned that to cope, it takes strength that doesn't come from myself, that if I want to make it through this valley I have to keep my eyes looking forward, I have learned that to put all my hope in a happily ever after of the fairy tales is to miss the 'happy' in the now. I hope that as a Mom I can teach them to live in the moment and enjoy the 'Happy's' as they happen, live in hope during the tough times, and always always look up with a smile to find the strength of their Father and Maker.