Dear Jacob

Dear Jacob,

I know you are mad at me right now, and I know there is no way I can explain this to you in a way that you will understand. I will not let you use the computer today. Most of the games you like to play are online, and I know how much you like to use Google to research the things that interest you. I’m happy to sit beside you as you play and explore, not only to be with you but to monitor what you see. The news stories of the week are too gruesome and too graphic to even deal with myself, and I don’t want you to see any of that. I fear you may stumble upon something that I can’t get rid of fast enough, or if I have to step away for a bit, you’ll see or read something that will upset you.

My job as your mother is to protect you, not to be your favorite person. Go ahead and get mad at me for this. I’m okay with that. I’d rather you be mad at me and know for myself that I’ve done my best to protect your innocence than have you witness something no one, especially not an eight year old, should see. I’ve kept the news channels off of the TV for the same reason. It’s enough that you’ve heard about these stories, I don’t want them scaring you any more. I fear allowing you to see images or hear speculations of these events will cloud your brain, and you don’t need that. As these news stories progress, there’s no predicting what will happen and what will be projected in the media. And I don’t want you to see something you can’t unsee.

Someday as a parent, you will understand. I wish beyond anything that when you are a father, events like this won’t ever happen so you won’t have to explain or censor anything for your children. I’m hopelessly optimistic about that, but I know that even twenty years from now I will do all I can to protect you. I wish I could protect you from the heartbreak of knowing that the world you brought your children into can be so scary.

I can’t stop these events from happening, but I can control what happens in this house, including computer usage and what is on our TV. I can block you from seeing images that could keep you up at night, or that would wake you with nightmares. You’re getting bigger everyday, and understanding more and more, but you’re still a little boy. If banning the computer for a day keeps your innocence in tact for a while longer, it’s what I will do, even if you tell me you hate me. I know you’ll get over it. I wouldn’t get over not doing my best for you. I love you.

Love,
Mommy

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