Today I read a disturbing news story. Honestly, every day I read disturbing news stories, even though I try to stay away from the news. Yes, I know that ignorance is not really bliss and keeping myself uninformed is rather stupid, but today, I wish I would have stuck to my habit of avoiding the headlines.
The story I read was about a 12-year-old boy who committed suicide after being bullied because he was on the cheerleading squad at his school. I am sickened at the thought that this child--someone's beloved son--thought he was better off dead because of what other children said about him. Despite the unfailing encouragement and love from his parents, the hurtful things the other children said to him and about him rang louder in his still-developing mind.
I touched upon bullying in an earlier post, found here. I have no patience for it, and frankly, I am tired of it and hope that I can find ways to support anti-bullying campaigns. First, however, I am going to start in my own home with my children, my two precious daughters whose young lives are so full of potential. How I wish I could shelter them from every awful thing in this world. I know that I can't, but I will still make a Christmas wish.
What I want for Christmas is for my children to be happy. Happy includes safe, secure, accepted, and loved for who they are, who they want to be, and also acceptance for what they are not. Happy is being comfortable at home, at school and church, and especially in their own skin. Happy is knowing that their parents will support them and stand by them and they will never have to ask if we think they are good enough.
I know this is a wish most parents have for their children, and it's a difficult one to grant. However, I do know that part of it I can grant: that when they are with me, they never have to worry about being themselves. I only hope that it will be enough so that when they leave home, my love and acceptance will act as shield to protect them from the hatred in the world.