This morning as we drove the short distance to my son Ezra’s school, my daughter Arayla (14) asked, “Is it true about the rumors, Mom? The ones that say we could have World War III in 2020?”
Her stark words reverberated painfully inside our car. I was quiet, noticing how her question landed in my body and my heart. I felt my hands tighten their grip on the steering wheel.
I took a breath and asked evenly, “Where did you hear that?”
She shrugged nervously, “Places. Instagram. Friends at my barn.”
Before I had a chance to respond, my son Ezra (11) asked from the back, “But they would never do a draft again, right, Mom? The government could never make someone—like boys—fight in a war, who didn’t want to, right Mama?”
I looked into the rearview mirror and saw his face staring worriedly out the window.
Arayla glanced at me and then turned around quickly and said to her brother, “Don’t worry, Ezra. You’re way too young to be drafted. They’re not going to draft kids. And if it ever came to that—where people were being drafted into war again?—we would leave this place in a heartbeat. Right, Mom? We would just leave.” She exhaled defiantly.
My heart starkly in my throat, I responded assuredly, “Absolutely. I don’t know what’s to come, my loves. But I promise to protect you.” Then I added something like, “There’s a lot of craziness in the world right now, it’s true. But there’s also a lot of good; a lot of powerful awakening and change and healing; a lot of uprising; a lot to be grateful for. Let’s stay awake and aware of it all.”
Oh my goodness, these questions from my astute post-millennial children, and the searing way their mundane morning dialogue eerily reflects these wild times we are in, right?
We were almost at Ezra’s school. Without losing his sense of humor, and with an ironic grin, Ezra said, “On that cheery note, I hope you guys have a great day!” 😉
We chuckled warmly, “You too!” and I blew him a kiss.
After he got out, and we pulled away, Arayla said thoughtfully, “I’m sorry for my timing on that question, Mom. It was totally bothering me, but I should have thought it through better since we were about to get to his school. Sorry if that wasn’t sensitive.”
I felt into it for a moment and then said, “It’s okay. I trust your timing, Love. Who knows how Ezra will bring that powerful consideration into his day?”
She nodded in agreement. Then she proceeded to chatter happily about horses and friends, delighting exuberantly in the snow-capped hills surrounding our valley. I listened, wholeheartedly agreeing with her about the beauty surrounding us, and felt a renewed appreciation for the ease and innocence of her natural joy.
When we got to her barn, she pulled her pink hat snug over her ears, hopped out and beamed at me brightly, calling out, “I love you Mom!” before closing the door.
I watched her walking away, my daughter who is almost a woman.
I love you. I love you. May your innocence and radiant, rosy-cheeked joy continue to be protected, even as you open to allow the realities of these times into your growing mind and heart. Even as you wonder if World War III is coming, and ask the hard questions you must.
May you always know what’s worth protecting—in your body, your mind, your heart, your family, your community, your home and your planet.
May you always know the deepest truth—this love for life blooming alive inside you; what can’t be touched by any of the foolery and madness.
May this continue to be our deepest inspiration and our refuge.