22 Aug 2014
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Trying to Keep Kids Safe from the World's Hardships

Protecting children only gets harder by the day.

Trying to Keep Kids Safe from the World's Hardships

Does anyone remember the TV movie "The Boy in the Bubble" starring John Travolta? Although it’s based on the tragic story of David Vetter and his rare immune deficiency disease, I am seriously considering the possibility of putting my girls in a giant bubble.

It will be the pimped out version of the old movie bubble: TV monitors that play children’s programing 24/7. State of the art sound system with all the old and new school toddler tunes. I’d hire Jonathan Adler do give it a Disney sensibility.

Naturally, my wife and I can enter the bubble at any time to give them lots of hugs and kisses so I really don’t see the harm in doing this.

Here’s my reasoning. At three years old, their smiles make the sun look dim. Their giggles and voices make Pachelbel Canon in D sound like the screeching brakes of a runaway train. Their eyes shine with innocence, purity and a sense of wonder at every moment of every day. I don’t want that to end.

They have yet to learn the meaning of: cancer, evil, war, genocide, terrorist, pedophile, rape, racism, anti-Semitism or Republican. They don’t know of death or the fact that mommy and daddy won’t be here forever. They haven’t experienced a broken heart, betrayal or loss. They don’t know failure or grief. They don’t comprehend the dangers that are all around. Drowning in a pool, choking on a pit, car accidents, head injury, disease.

I want to protect them from all of that. I want them to stay three years old…stay in a bubble and be happy forever. I want to keep them out of harm’s way and keep the harm in the world away from their consciousness. I want to keep them innocent.

For the past three months, Patch has been gracious enough to publish my weekly humor column. I’ve written each article like I was whistling through a graveyard. Laugh at what I fear. Smile at what I don’t want to think about.

As my final installment, I am not exactly leaving you all laughing (especially the Republicans I upset … it was a joke!) I am telling you who I am. I’m happy to be a 52-year-old father of perfect twin 3-year-old girls.

They are incredibly funny, sweet, bright, imaginative, loving, kind, considerate and adorable beyond description. I’m a 52-year-old father who is petrified of watching the gleam in their eyes fade as they slowly discover the world isn’t perfect and life isn’t easy.

I wish each came with a guarantee for a long, healthy, happy and productive life. But instead, I know I have to be like a coach on the sidelines of the losing team. I have to let them fall and stumble and bleed and cry and feel pain and hurt and just hope that I can help them get back up to play the next game with all they have inside. What they don’t know … is even in defeat … I will love them all the more.

And I wonder why I’m not invited to more parties.

(Editor's Note: This will be Randy Levin's last column. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well.)

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