Ragtime

Nathan surprised me with a date when he was given free tickets to the community center to see “Ragtime.”

I often thought of Mary during the show, and how lovely and intelligent she is.

We talked about how we will have to someday – even now – teach Mary these things, and it grieves me because she is so pure and innocent.

We loved the musical in many ways, but it is also intrinsically riddled with the problems it confronts: the black people die, the white people get away with killing, and success is measured by (Jewish) money.

I don’t want to have to tell her these things, or teach her the awful history of the past, or awaken her eyes to even current political dramas playing out in the news.  One night we were using a gift card at Hideaway, like a miracle of manna for our family, and the kids spent most of the time crying because they watched a student dragged out of a classroom by a police officer.  This isn’t Little Rock when my mother was in school; this is childhood of my children, and there is still so much horror in the world, so much terror.  I want her to grow up feeling safe and secure and healthy and happy and well, but she also needs an accurate picture to understand where she has come from, where we are still coming from, to know where she is going and who she wants to be.

We cannot be wise without knowing the stupidity of the past, or compassionate without knowing the cruelty of the present.

I want a better world for her, and I know she will help create it.

But there will be painful pieces to hand to her, ever so gently, in time, much like the pieces we must hand to all of them as they grow and ask questions about their families and their past.

I must give them to her, though, because they are her pieces.

I know, though, and have to believe, that there is hope in the atonement, and that healing can be real and lasting and of far greater wholeness than we can imagine on our own.

As a mother, as a mother, I see some of the hard road ahead, and my heart grieves for the pain and struggle she must endure, even while my spirit understands its meaning and purpose and necessity.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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