Gah! I am (nearly) speechless! Over the course of three days last week, three news articles informed me that
• a New Hampshire school district banned tag;
• a Long Island school banned any balls that aren’t foam, and there are to be no unsupervised cartwheels;
• the government might destroy stamps that show a skateboarder not wearing knee pads, a swimmer doing a cannonball, and a child doing a handstand without wearing a helmet.
Parents are starting to speak up, wondering why people who think they know better won’t let our children play, take risks, or explore life without adequate adult supervision. Frankly, I wonder about that too, and articles like these would put me right over the edge—if I weren’t so worried about twisting my ankle.
I’d like to go on and on about how absolutely ridiculous it is to pretend we are in control. To think that if we manage every situation our children are in, that if we never allow them to feel pain or adversity, we will be good parents.
Really, though, I know that as soon as my blood pressure returns to normal, I will feel sad, and a little embarrassed. Many times I have been a slave to fear too, which means I have forgotten God’s promises. I forget that he knows the plans he has for my children, that he is the one who carries lambs in his arms, that he loves them more than I do.
True, God’s love isn’t some magic bubble; it doesn’t make children emergency-room-visit proof. They will still get stitches, break bones, and get sick. Instead, God’s love gives me the right to go to him with my fears—and leave them with him. To be reminded: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8).
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and women’s retreat speaker. As she writes this, God is giving her a chance to put her money where her mouth is. One child is sick at home, and another needs an appointment to get four stitches pulled from the head.