A few of us may remember a night spent with dear, dear friends camping in the woods. Deep, off-site camping.
There were four of us. Two were afraid of bears. A couple afraid of humans.
In the end two slept. And two did not. The sleepers were candid–
we slept because we knew you were awake.
Guarding us, so to speak.
Vigilant and awake
Maybe a little paranoid, even.
Tired in the morning.
Some will stay awake
So that the little ones can be
Children are resilient.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this….
The truth is children are not any more resilient than adults. They are helpless and not yet mature enough to understand or control the harm done to them. We all carry our wounds with us, and children need vigorous advocates, not cheap platitudes.
My friend tells a story: he was quite young and won a prize at a picnic. An older child tricked him into relinquishing his winning ticket. Only later did he understand the trust he had placed in the older child was misplaced and he had been cheated.
Small story, but one he tells to this day with a sense of injustice. How much more are the truly harmful things that happen to children wounds we carry into adulthood?
So think about my small story the next time someone says children are resilient. If you want your child to recover from the wounds of deception, abuse, or cruelty in a darkened world you will have to be their advocate and physician– providing a safe place to heal, a shoulder to grieve on, and a tough mama or daddy to fight for them. Fight for the safety of the little ones.
You be the resilient one. Speak out.