Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day! (Risk and Reward)

You would think that in a house with 6 children, 5 of them boys, noise would be fairly common, right? I mean, kids are loud anyway, but many scrapbook stickers have I seen describing boys as "noise with dirt on them".

It would stand to reason that said children would be accustomed to noise. Not. So. Much. The 16 year-old accuses me of having the car radio too loud. (What's wrong with that picture?) The 6 and 4 year-olds cannot tolerate going to the fireworks. Granted explosions are not common place at casa de testosterone (no would-be mad scientists in the house, yay me!), but they don't like loud noise as a rule and they are walking loudness, unless of course you ask them a question and they're sitting in the way-back row of the van, then they adopt library voices, because that's what my kids do, use library voices everywhere but in the library...or church.

So instead of being at the fireworks on the Independence Day, *I* and *E* are sleeping in a tent in the living room. The Husband, *J* and *N* are enjoying the rockets red glare, while I keep the home fires television going. (Fireworks from NYC, volume and climate control from the comfort of my living room.)

Sometimes I worry that the boys will miss out on too many things because they are afraid. Sometimes fear is a good thing. It prevents us from putting ourselves in unsafe situations. The fireworks are safe, but if they are faced with other issues which give them that feeling in the pit of their stomach that screams "unsafe" I want them to trust it. If someone suggests they try elevator surfing or swimming in posted waters or whatever other risky behavior is facing them, I want them to be afraid, be very afraid...and say, "No!"

Not everything that fills us with fear can actually harm us. A professional fireworks display should be safe even if it is loud. We can fear all sorts of innocuous things. We have to discern what is real danger and what grows teeth, or fangs, in our imagination but is actually quite safe.

We need to understand risks versus rewards. For *I* and *E*, the reward of going to the fireworks was not worth tolerating the noise.

There are risks and rewards in life. In 1776, the Founding Fathers had to weigh risks and rewards. I am thankful to have the freedoms I have today thanks to the bravery and risk of so many men and women in the armed forces. Thank you! Happy Independence Day.


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