The Age of Innocence

Yesterday we walked past a dead bird on the sidewalk. Julian saw it and said, “That bird must have been so tired to just fall asleep right there. I’m sure he would be more comfortable in his nest.”

It was adorable and heartbreaking at the same time. If only there was a way to preserve my boys’ innocence.

I love to watch Julian make friends. He is so funny and kind. I dread the day when some jerk kid makes fun of him or makes a point to exclude him. I’m also thankful that my boys are too young to ask questions about homeless people on the street, sickness, death, the terrible things that have happened in history and in “right now.” Mama, what’s the Holocaust? Oh man.

One time (a long time ago) when we were on the subway, a homeless person was begging for money on the train. Julian asked if that was the conductor and did he want to see our ticket.

I just want to protect my boys, always. I want to keep them safe and whole. And I know I can’t.

Arthur has a hemangioma on his ear. It’s relatively small and is becoming less noticeable as his hair grows longer. In fact, I don’t really see it, but I know other people do. Kids ask about it all the time. Jeff told me about a time he was at a playground with Arthur, and a bunch of older kids started saying things like, “Look at that baby’s ear! He’s a monster! Get away from him!”

I know kids tease. I know they bully. I know it happens all the time. I remember the terrible things I said to a girl I went to school with. I was such a jerk. But oh man. I don’t want that to happen to my own kids.

I just hope that Arthur will feel secure enough to just brush it off his shoulder. And I hope that both of my boys will surround themselves with friends who are good people. And I hope hope hope that they will always be kind to others.

I’m so thankful that Julian and Arthur will always have each other to rely on. I know there will be a time when I won’t hear all the stories and won’t be able to fix all the problems and dry all their tears. But they will always have their brother to be there for them, and for as long as they will let me, I will be their number one defender and protector. And I’ll try to answer all their questions as best I can. I just hope the really tough ones will wait for a while longer.

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