A Stranger in the World

Adulthood is living in a house of cards. Or perhaps it's knowing that you're living in a house of cards. I guess it's a testament to what a sheltered childhood I had (and I use the term "childhood" in a broader sense than is really linguistically justifiable) that I'm just now waking up to how fragile my lifestyle is. We watched a nature show about lions the other day (I know he's not supposed to watch TV yet, but Nugget really liked the lions) and I keep going back to it in thinking about this. It was a lean year for the lions (is it just me or is it always a lean year on nature shows?) and the pride was teetering on the edge of survival, always one kill away from starvation. Color me melodramatic but I keep comparing that to the possibility that I'll lose my job and we won't be able to pay our mortgage and ... well, I guess we'd move in with my parents, which is not exactly the same thing as starving. But it would suck nonetheless.

It occurred to me to wonder whether we do our kids any favors by sheltering them this way. Would it be better to let Nugget have a taste of adult worries as he grows up, so it doesn't come as such a shock someday to realize that life is a bundle of worry tied up with compromise and sprinkled with hope? The answer I came to is no: it is better that he grows up feeling secure so he can develop the confidence and faith to face the challenges in his future. Also, it is better that he have a happy, carefree childhood, like mine, which was pretty damn sweet.