June 11, 2013

Peace at Home

If there is to be peace in the world... 
There must be peace in the home. 
Chinese Philosopher Lao-Tse (6th century)

I've been thinking lately about peace... world peace, inner peace, peaceful sleep, peaceful children, peace & love. In trying to wrap my head around a subject that should be so darn simple, I've discovered it to be quite complicated—and emotional. Perhaps it's the pregnancy hormones.

Or perhaps I'm just traumatized. The Boston Marathon—an event we decided last minute not to attend—opened my eyes once again to the paralyzing truth: we are never completely safe in this world. Like an aftershock from 9/11, it shook me to the core, with the same anxiety, nausea and trepidation—it all came back. Except this time, I have children. Which made the coping SO much worse.

And because I owe my children a world that is beautiful and loving—one where I'm not left sobbing with crippling empathy over a 5 year old boy who dies from an explosive—I kept the news shut off. Shielded from the drama and sadness nearby, our home was a sanctuary of safety and blissful ignorance. While terrorists were fleeing, we played Lego and watched Team Umizoomi.

It was during these moments (of trying to be a brave mommy while hiding my emotionally distraught self) when I fully realized that it's my job to ensure there will always be peace in our home. It's every parent's job, in fact.

Since then, I've taken note of the ways we achieve peace in our home... and it doesn't seem to take much. Apparently it's the small, simple things that seem to define moments of harmony. For the boys, it's watercolors on paper while listening to music. Or floating in the bath. Or our seemingly endless tickle sessions. For Andrew, it's watching soccer with the boys, or returning from a long trail run. As a couple, we both find calm at bedtime... the sweet silence of sleeping children and a few moments to chat uninterrupted.

On occasion, we find peace at the dinner table... we are all in tune with each other, the kids are interested in eating, talking, listening and appreciative of the food on the table. We all sit around chatting forever, listening to music. Deep inside all of us, I know we feel content, lucky, blessed.

That's peace for us... and I guess we're off to a good start.

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