My oldest friend is also a new mommy. She posted on facebook soon after news broke about the Boston Marathon and said she has a whole new level of hurt now that she has a daughter. That resonates with me so much. It's almost overwhelming at first, to look at that helpless baby in your arms and wonder how you will keep them safe because even the briefest thought of losing them is so physically painful it takes your breath away.
When I had more children, that worry multiplied. After I attended the funeral of a precious little boy who felt like family to me, I almost drowned in the fear that comes with knowing for certain that tomorrow is not a guarantee. I've worked hard over the last year to cultivate a different point of view though. I'm still working hard at it and maybe it will never come any easier, but it's worth the work.
Fred Rogers has taught me and my children some wonderful lessons, but one of the most comforting is to look for the helpers. Because when you watch video of the explosions in Boston, you see a brief moment of evil eclipsed by a wave of helpers. You see people running towards the victims without hesitation and without knowing when or where another blast might erupt. In the grief and confusion and pain and fear, you see helpers. People comforting each other, tending wounds, searching for other dangers.
There are people in this world who do bad things. There are many many more who are helpers. We don't have to sit alone in a pit of fear and wonder "what if". We don't have to grieve and hurt by ourselves. We can all be helpers and by doing so, both give and receive a gift of humanity that will make this world a better place for everyone.