A Beautiful Bubble

Monday, February 24, 2014

The boys call it Sweetland, instead of Sweden.

And they've been asking if we can go to Chinese one day.

They've learned a lot about the world in the last 16 days, thanks to the Olympics. My goal is that it doesn't end there.  
I'm one of those parents who changes the channel when an ad for 300: Rise of an Empire comes on, but not when the news shows unrest in Ukraine or Venezuela. I let them see. 
I feel the need to protect my kids from sanitized, hyper-sexualized and computer-generated violence. I don't want them to see that at all. But the real world struggles, the rock-throwing, the lines of refugees, the crying children, the cities of rubble . . . the connection between those victorious Ukrainian skiers and what was going on in their country just a few hundred miles away. That, I think is important to see, even if it just a nightly-news glance. 

We don't live with violence or poverty day to day. Our world is safe, civilized. But that's not reality for everyone. I want my kids to know that. I wish we could live in an Olympic version of the world. It's almost child-like, really. The camaraderie, the competition, the cheering . . . that's part of what makes it so glorious and special. Sport unites, and we can largely live as one, for 16 days. I'm so thankful that these Olympics felt unified, and safe.
But even better, I think, is seeing the 16 days in the context of the larger world. The Olympics is a beautiful bubble in some dirty dishwater. All the more reason to treasure it. 

I don't know the right way to do this - how to raise children who are engaged and care about the world, who can enjoy the good and work to correct the bad, but aren't self-righteous or wrecked with guilt. I don't know. 

For now, it involves uncovering our eyes to see the gritty and enjoying Sweetland. Because when we look at it all together, it is pretty sweet. 

*All images from NBC News*

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3 Responses to “A Beautiful Bubble”

  1. "Sweetland!" That's precious, Courtney. This is a great and challenging post. I think I spent much too much time trying to sanitize the world for my now-17-year-old-daughter. When she reached upper elementary/middle school and began questioning some things, she wasn't really prepared for what life outside our bubble looked like. As parents--and particularly Christian parents--we protect our kids from the real world for many reasons. But I think that we need to let them see the real world and prepare them for the manufactured, slick version too. This parenting thing isn't for sissies!
    P.S. I enjoyed meeting you in person a few weekends ago at the B&B event!

  2. Nice to meet you Courtney,
    I think the Soli Deo Gloria group is a great idea.
    I am not on facebook all that often, but will try my best to pop in there and on blogs.
    To "bubble" or "not to bubble" that is the question right? That is the precise battle we all face. We know the consequences of not guarding all too plainly. But the "over-bubble" factor in raising our children is murky ground. Questions like these always, always, remind me of the importance of walking close to The Lord, sensitive to the leading of The Holy Spirit...which I think is the probably the best example of "murky ground" because it is not perfectly explainable is it? I enjoyed your wine posts...my husband starting making wine a few years ago too. Minus the access to vineyards...lucky you!...we just buy the un-fermented juice straight from local vineyards.

  3. A beautiful post Courtney. Loved it.