We didn’t plan one “activity” over the weekend. We went nowhere. We ate in. We slept and read and swam.
It was just me and three six year olds from Friday night to Sunday bedtime.
Friends came to us. Saturday morning the boys and little bit each had a friend come swim. Everyone played and laughed and ate popsicles. There were towels strewn across the house in complete disregard for the “hang your towel up policy,” and I couldn’t care one bit.
After church Sunday, our sweet family friends came over to swim and the boys hunted lizards after swimming while the girls dressed up and giggled.
There’s been a lot of bad news in the world lately. Unfinished military coups and horrific deaths of celebrants on the French coastline and unfathomable deaths of men on our own soil.
Between the terror outside my door and the outsized political rhetoric of this American election cycle and the unnerving top stories on my own local news, I’ve found myself living in my own terror. Pacing the halls at night in fear of what the creaks from the old windows might portend and finding my head throbbing from the stress of living in today’s high pressure, constant information cycle society.
I heard a man say Friday that fear sells. Yes, what is happening is terrible he acknowledged, but there have always been terrible things happening in our world. Wars and plagues and economic turmoil. But now, we have a 24 hour news cycle which we can’t escape when away from our television or computer because our “smart” phones give us alert on the front screen. Fear sells, he repeated. And if it wasn’t the murders, it would be zika virus or people walking off a cliff playing Pokémon Go.
Fear sells. And the war on terror is won when our hearts and minds are full of fear. The terrorist, in whatever form he takes, has won when we can’t live our lives.
So I didn’t go anywhere this weekend.
I didn’t fill our time with anything other than us and positive relationships. I savored the laughs and sticky faces of popsicle-eating kids in the pool. I read good books to the kids and watched only funny, happy television. I curled up in bed with the kids and talked about whatever they wanted. I braided hair and played Battleship after dinner.
I prayed. For every sweet family grieving this weekend even while I had my own. I prayed for us, the global collective, to let this unsettling of the past few weeks be enough for us. I thanked God for each child in our bedtime prayers and I told them, because I want them to know, how lucky our family is to have them in it.