This morning I was talking to Hannah about graduation. Who gets tickets? When do we send out the announcements? Caps and gowns. Open houses. The first wave of the Barney Generation is graduating from high school! I remember as if it were last Wednesday… Hannah embracing her playgroup playmates at the end of each weekly meeting and in an innocent chorus singing the I Love You song. As new moms, we tenderly smiled as our children reinforced our belief and want that each and every one would grow up with Barney’s unconditional love and respect anthem swirling in their subconscious.
And then something happened…great big hugs and kisses “to me and you” became muted. I have to admit…I’m relieved Hannah’s made it through her school days with just a few minor bumps and lumps. We’ve had some dark days. But even the lowest of the low days have not compared to some of the cruel, mean, evil things some kids choose to do unto others. Unless you’ve been living in Barney’s Tree House, it should be no news to you that some kids today can be evil.
Today I drove Zak to school. Nick and Hannah had to go in early for a National Honor Society meeting. When I turned the key, 100 Years by Five for Fighting was playing. It is a song about life.
“I’m 15 for a moment, Caught in between 10 and 20, And I’m just dreaming, counting the ways to where you are.”
As we pulled out of the neighborhood, we passed an elderly couple, easily in their 80’s, holding hands, walking in the rain. My heart warmed when I recognized the woman as a neighbor. Her husband had passed away several years ago from cancer. She had found love again. By the time we came upon them the lyrics had passed through life’s decades…the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s…
“Half time goes by, Suddenly you’re wise, Another blink of an eye, 67 is gone, The sun is getting high We’re moving on…
The compartmentalized time capsule of puberty and teen angst and just general unfiltered ugliness has the volume to the rest the world turned down to zero. But then somewhere in our 100 years, the whispered song of childhood begins to crescendo, breaking through that barrier Erik Erikson so aptly named Adolescence and Young Adulthood and a simple love song, sung by a goofy three-toed purple dinosaur prevails. “I love you, you love me.”
If only we could make kids today who are picked on, bullied, harassed, and made to believe they are worthless believe in these words. If only we could make them see beyond today to fifty years from now, when walking hand in hand with a second chance at love on a beautiful rainy spring morning is all that truly matters.