To Be Unafraid...

So often, people...I...refer to children as "carefree". Yes, in a sense they are carefree. However, the more I take the time to examine the children in my life, and share experiences with them on an intimate level, I realize that they are far from a shallow definition of carefree. Rather, they are unafraid.

Unafraid to seize the moment.
Unafraid to laugh heartily.
Unafraid to play until they scrape a knee.

A couple of days ago, I was playing a game of hide 'n' seek with Jonas and Harrison, when we were interrupted by a stirring in the grass. There, next to the dog's greedy mouth, lay a baby rabbit. It wasn't moving; Truman (our Golden Retriever) had apparently thought it was a toy. A few feet away, we spotted another, still wiggling around in the grass, untouched.

After reprimanding Truman, our dog, for his brutality (though, how much can you scold nature?), we pulled the living rabbit off of the ground, and into our hands.

It was perfectly well...but I knew, unless it was rescued by its momma, it couldn't survive very long.

Still, Jonas was eager to hold it and stroke its fresh fur. I think he must have known the inevitable end of this creature's story, but if he did, he didn't let it spoil these rare moments with God's creation.

The kit's mother never came.

The moral of the story? As past children, we all know what it feels like to experience the reality of death and pain--even through small experiences like this. But, as past children, our job is not to shield the young from the natural desire to love and experience things.

A child knows of reality, but does not fear it.

That's courage that life experiences dilapidate.

Let them experience. Someday, they'll have fear, and it will hold them back. Let them remain carefree--if that's what it is--for as long as life will allow.