I had what I consider to be an idyllic childhood. I grew up in Daytona Beach on a quiet little street in the 1960’s. Every Saturday, my siblings and I would mount our bikes and head out in search of adventure. My mother’s mantra “Safety First!” was always quoted as we rushed out the door, our dogs at our heels. We climbed trees and built forts, swam in the ocean and constructed elaborate sandcastles. We would finally come home as the sun was setting, full of dirt and sweat—exhausted, but still smiling. The world was a gentle place where kids could be kids, or at least that’s how I remember it. In our house, ‘technology’ was a corded rotary phone, a record player, and a TV that got exactly three channels. I’m sure bad things happened in the 60’s, but we weren’t bombarded by haunting images through dozens of TV stations, social media sites, and the internet. We were protected, innocent, happy—or maybe we were just lucky.
Will my daughter remember her childhood as idyllic, or will she be forever scarred by the memories of mass shootings, bombings, and murders? It is impossible to shield her from the media blitz that surrounds every heartbreaking event. I would say that I weep for the future, but I don’t. Along with the chilling images our children have seen, they have also witnessed the bravery of first responders, the genuine compassion of strangers, and the inviolable resolve of the human race. I still have hope. I still believe in humanity. And today, even after the terrible tragedy in Boston, my glass is still half full.
“Half Full”–graphite on paper