At the end of Main Street on the harbor bay in the small town of Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York, sits a windmill used now as a Visitors Information Center. This is where my brother George worked part-time.
Often on summer days, another brother would stop by the windmill with his young grandchildren to say hi to Uncle George. Thus, when these same grandchildren were told about Uncle George’s death, their first response was “Who will take care of the windmill?
“Who will take care of the windmill?” What a common reaction from children wanting to be reassured that the things in their life will go on. As parents, this is a message for all of us to remember.
In today’s world of hyper information, warnings, and constantly breaking news, our children are more privy to over-hearing details about stressful events – the latest disease affecting young children, the disastrous storms, the raging fires, the military fighting overseas, kidnappings, shootings in our own country.
Subjects such as these can bring high anxiety to adults let alone children.
So it is good to listen well to what it is our children want and need to hear from us. And even if it’s as simple a change as an after school pick-up, a parent leaving for an overnight business trip, a mom going to the hospital to deliver the new sibling, moving to a new house, changing schools – children always want to know, first and foremost, what does that mean to me – who will take care of me?
Security – freedom from fear, anxiety, danger, doubt – a sense of safety and certainty.
So yes – “Who will take care of the windmill?” – a perfect question from little ones wanting to feel that certainty in their lives – wanting to be sure that their lives would go on – and all would be well.