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Oh, to Live in Simpler Times

LongIsland.com

This past summer my son and I went to visit my Mother for a few days. My Mom lives about 8 hours North of here so we're not there all that often. Luc was excited ...

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This past summer my son and I went to visit my Mother for a few days. My Mom lives about 8 hours North of here so we're not there all that often. Luc was excited about finally being out of the car and running around checking out all of Grandma's stuff. While he was investigating the phone in the kitchen, it slipped from his hands and blasted into a million pieces all over the kitchen floor. My Mother could not contain her laughter as my son quickly reassured her, "It's okay.. Mommy can fix it."

I was recently asked how I was protecting my family in light of recent events. Are we stockpiling water, canned goods, installing wood stoves, or hiding under the bed? I'll admit it, after September 11th it took a bit to get me out of the dazed and confused stupor and off the couch. I think that's because it seemed like something worse was happening every 20 minutes and it took a while to not feel "jumpy."

I chuckle when I hear people say, "Oh I'd love to live in simpler times." When was that exactly? Since the beginning of mankind there have been "things" to fear. I've been researching my family ancestry and found that my great-great-great grandmother arrived into Quebec on the Irish Famine ships in 1847. She was 7 years old. Her parents died of typhus on the ship and she was adopted and separated from her sister, the only living relative she had left. On the other side I had a grandfather who's first wife had 15 children with only 3 to survive. My father at the age of 16 voluntarily (at the behest of his father) served in World War II. I wouldn't have trusted one of my brothers at the age of 16 to run to the store with my car, let alone stand on the back of a destroyer dropping bombs into the water.

I know that my 3 year old knows something bad happened in New York. A couple weeks after September 11th, we all took the train and went to the Children's Museum uptown (http://www.cmom.org). I frequently am in the city for business meetings and knew that if my son didn't go on the train and see that nothing was on fire or blowing up when we got there, he'd be less likely to worry when I say, "I have to go to the city today Luc."

My 3-year-old son watches my every move. That's what kids do: they watch us for cues, "this is funny right? this is good right? this is scary right?" When you're 3 years old the gates protecting you from falling down the stairs are gone, your cups don't have lids, most of the little plastic thingy's in the outlets are gone, and your bed doesn't have big tall bars all around it. When you're 3 years old, you should be able to believe that Mommy (or Daddy) can fix everything--even telephones in little bits all over the kitchen tile.