How many adorable "baby's first pandemic" photoshoots have you seen since the COVID-19 outbreak?
Probably a ton, right?
This is my baby's first pandemic, too, but I highly doubt it will be his last, nor will it possibly be the scariest thing he will see. That scares me to no end.
No, he will see many more frightening things in his lifetime and one of the most prevalent thoughts that keeps popping into my head at night, is how will I prepare him for them?
It's easy now.
He's too young to even know what's going on.
He doesn't understand the severity of this virus. He doesn't understand how many innocent lives have been taken already. He doesn’t understand what PPE is and how our healthcare workers caring for patients without it.
To him, every day is just another day.
We go outside for walks. He plays with bubbles. He watches birds and squirrels with excitement.
He doesn't know what a global pandemic looks like, and I am thankful that I do not have to explain it to him right now. I am thankful that I don't have to explain why he can't play with his friends.
But at some point, and possibly someday soon, I’ll have to explain lots of things.
It may not come in the form of a deadly virus next time, but something more difficult to explain.
How do you explain unmitigated hate?
How do you explain unwarranted bullying?
How do you keep them protected?
I hope, with every fiber of my being, that he doesn't experience it directly, but I am confident that he will experience it in some way or another.
I don't envy parents today, with children old enough to understand what is going on around them in the world.
I don't envy parents today, with children old enough to comprehend death.
I don't envy parents today, with children old enough to experience racism and pure ugliness, and then question why it is directed at them.
I don't envy parents today, with children old enough to understand that words can cut deep, and come home every single day hating themselves.
For now, I am fortunate for my child's innocence.
But how do you prepare them for what they will face in the future?
It's a scary thought, and frankly, I am not prepared.
But truthfully, are we ever?