Did you ever wonder why it seems our children seem to know a lot more today than we did as kids “yesterday”? I see my son as a lot more mature for his age than I was way back when. It has to be that way because our kids are exposed to so much more today and at such a younger age. Take for instance the computer. I first learned to use a computer in my 2nd year of college while my son started using a PC in preschool and uses it regularly at home. I am so amazed at how much he has learned in his first decade of life and how he has a hunger to learn and question things. I am happy that he has the need and desire to learn and understand. Matty also surprises me with his philosophical view of life. He seems years ahead with his ideas and wishes. He is a very sensitive boy with vision and concern for the world to be a better place. Matty was only 3 months shy of 3 years old when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred and he was very aware of the disturbing images and he cried and asked us how 2 big aircraft could hit a city building in the same day within 20 or so minutes of each other and why it happened? I was trying to comprehend the shocking reality myself of what happened and I could not answer my son’s inquisitive question as I was disturbed and puzzled by what happened that fateful day.
This event in our lives has caused a lot of anguish and I know personally it has affected my thinking and made me realize the brutal nature of some people who live to terrify others. My son also has been affected by it and he has a feeling that there is so much uncertainty and hatred in our world. He represses the reality and blocks the events that happened that fateful day to envision a more peaceful and happier place. I just feel sad that our kids have to be exposed to such nightmarish realities. We try our best to shield our kids from such awful happenings but it is not so easy and the damage has already been done and the images that play over year after year only reinforces the horror of that awful day and the tragedy of such a horrific event. I will never understand the “why this happened?” to explain to my son but I know it is important to let my son express his feelings and ask these tough questions when they are on his mind. I have to understand that kids are very perceptive and they formulate their own ideas and opinions and it is very important that they be heard and talk their feelings out. As responsible parents we should never discount our children’s feelings.
I am quite impressed with my son’s love of helping others and wanting to make life better for those who need a helping hand. Matty has a good heart and he always wants to do his part and be there to help. I love this part of my son’s personality and I believe he will do fine things in his life because he truly understands that there are a lot of people hurting and he wants to end the hurt and make people feel better. Maybe Matty may wish to help in humanitarian relief efforts one day. He also was deeply affected when he learned of the pain and suffering the poor people in Haiti are going through as a result of the devastating earthquake. He feels empathy for these people and he truly cares. I also have wanted to help the needy in my own small way but I never feel I am doing enough. My obvious main concern is providing for my family and teaching my son to have faith and confidence and to always utilize his God given skills and always put forth his best effort.
Maria and I feel truly blessed by having Matthew in our lives and he has such a way about him that we just feel so happy and complete. Our lives are so much more meaningful and full of purpose and although we are not perfect we certainly wish our son could be. I know that is every parent’s wish but the reality is we will fore go perfection and wish for our son to have good health, happiness and a life full of meaning, accomplishment and friendships. Matthew has a wonderful insight into life and being a kid and wanting everything to be perfect. He has the right ideas and I am amazed at how he loves to write and express himself and we encourage this of him because it is wonderful when you can express your feelings and connect with others. Matthew certainly has a wonderful ideal of what life should be like and he has a special quality of being such a good kid who has a youthful innocence and a wonderful way about himself. Thank you Matthew for teaching us and showing us what is most important in life. Your courage and your compassion shine and we are so privileged to be a part of your life and are so joyous that you are a part of our lives. May God always bless you and protect you.
Edward D. Iannielli III