Friday, December 11, 2015

In Harm's Way

Growing up in the Midwest, I remember the first snowfall and the first real accumulation of snow. Out would come the snow pants, the heavy woolen socks, the stocking hat pulled snuggily over the ears. Then we’d don the boots- with buckles, no less- pull on the heavy warm jacket and mittens, and out the door we’d go. Growing up next to a river, there would be the necessary cautions to “stay off the ice because it isn’t thick enough yet.”

A snowflake on your tongue. Snowball fights. Snow forts.  Igloos and tunnels and snow angels.

After every last bit of energy was spent and after we were more than soaking wet, with cheeks red and lips sometimes cracked, we’d trudge up the back stoop, strip off all the outer gear and hang it up to dry.

Then there was Coco with marshmallows, maybe a graham cracker or two, sometimes with peanut butter.

I’m a lot older now and to be honest, I’m not all that enamored with snow or the cold anymore. That’s the reason we left Wisconsin.  I believe that unless the temperature matches my age, I shouldn’t have to go outside. But I also know that changes in weather, sometimes chilly and sometimes down right cold, happen, so I live with it.  Barely.

Like my parents did so many years ago, and not just with boots and mittens and stocking hats and heavy socks, and like parents and teachers and mentors today, we try to protect our kids from the ice and the cold.  We try to protect our kids from a lot more than that.

We build up our kids, and we help them avoid the potholes and pitfalls that lay in wait. Heck, we know that they’re there. Chances are, we tripped and stumbled and fell because of one or two of them.

Each of us in our own way and as best we can try to strengthen our kids, get them ready for the big ol’ world outside the comfy confines of our homes . . . their homes.  Some are better at it than others.  But I believe each of us does the best we can.

It’s never easy.  Parenting, like teaching, is a tough and rugged contact sport.  WWF has nothing on us!  Nothing.  When it comes to our kids, any kids, I think there isn’t one of us who wouldn’t take a kick to the head before we’d let anyone kick our kids.  I think each of us would put ourselves In Harm’s Way before something would happen to our kids.

And when something does happen to our kids, there is anger and a desire for swift retribution.  What is that old saying about not messing with the cub if you don’t want mama bear after you? 

And then we come to our senses, barely, and we gather up and hold and protect and reassure.  We build back up and reinforce so that the next time . . .

And there always will be a next time.  No matter how we prepare, no matter how we might wish it away, there will always be a next time.

So . . .

Knowing that we can’t protect our kids . . . ourselves . . . for or from every eventuality, we can take solace in the fact that there are guardian angels among us.  Those folks who look out for us and who come to our aid when we need it, when we least expect it, when there is no one else.  There are those guardian angels among us who suddenly and quietly appear by our side, who are with us step by step, and who might not say a word, but will, by their silence and a gentle hand and a willing ear, let us know that we are not alone.

Are you a guardian angel when there is a need?  Or do you leave that to others? Being a guardian angel takes a commitment and it takes courage and it is sometimes messy.  Especially in this season of giving, something to think about . . .

To My Readers:
From An Enthusiastic Reader:
“These are some of the most amazing books I have ever read. I'm working on the last one now and have been waiting ever so impatiently for it to come out. I started with the prequel and the other ones were out already, with the exception of the last one, which is now. From that book, I went straight to downloading the rest of them and read them back to back. I couldn't put it down. If you are someone who likes to read I highly recommend these books!”

Book Three, Splintered Lives:
A 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t know it. Their vacation turns into a trip to hell. Out gunned and outnumbered, can this boy protect his father and brothers? Without knowing who these men are, how many there are, or when they might come for him? Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives, is now available in ebook and paperback on Amazon, free on Kindle Unlimited.  

Book One, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents has 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead!

Book Two, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.

Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark and dreadful as each search for a way out. 

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe