Beginnings and endings are a big deal in our family right now.  At the ages of 10, 8 and 8, our children have lost their perfect innocence of toddlerhood.  Unfortunately, reality has replaced innocence with fear of the unknown.

Two major events have occurred recently to derail their security:

  1. Their uncle has become divorced.  As a result, they are afraid Craig and I will break up from even the slightest of arguments.
  2. They have witnessed Craig and I grieve the unexpected loss of a friend.  The realization that something terrible could happen to any one of us without warning has become an uncomfortable focal point for our kids.

Last week I gave Taylor a penny to throw into a wishing well.

“Mommy, I want to tell you my wish,” she said as she put her arm around my waist.

“Okay,” I agreed, happy that she wanted to share.

“I wish you and Daddy never break up, and that our family will always stay the same.”

I had to look away to fight back my tears.  I took a deep breath and hugged her tight.

“That’s a great wish, sweetie,” I told her.

I wish I could have made her feel better.  I wish I could have offered her naive reassurance.  But I couldn’t.  Because none of us know what the future will bring.  For now, the only thing Craig and I can do as parents is to demonstrate how to find the beauty in new beginnings that result from less than desirable endings.