fragility of children


I once held my son on my lap, rocking him in my arms as he slept and breathing in the scent of his hair, the mingled smells of sunshine, of empty afternoons, of freedom and open sky, things that never had smells until his hair revealed them, and experienced the raw power of innocence and simplicity, the terrible beauty of a heart that can be broken by a single gesture and then mended with a Cheerio, the deep currents of infinite, helpless possibility that quietly tear the world apart, because people of ill-will see that weakness and are encouraged, but those of goodwill see it and shrink away in shame and fear lest they destroy so precious a treasure through either carelessness or necessity.