This is why we have to fight for our hearts, and (sooner or later) our children's hearts, with everything we've got. Because, "innocence, once lost, can never be regained. Darkness, once gazed upon, can never be lost." (Milton) This is where we see why the Goodness, Truth, and Loveliness are actually so important.
The bad things can certainly be tucked away in a back drawer underneath the clutter of other ideas and thoughts. But somehow you'll keep on opening them back up, bumping into them, always remembering, always knowing they are there. When you aren't watching, they'll ooze out in the way you live your life, the way you look at the world.
Full of fear.
Full of guilt.
Full of anger.
"This world is rated R," says N.D. Wilson. "And no one is checking IDs….Do not try to hide your children away from the world forever, but do not try to pretend there is no danger."
There are two mistakes to be made: Throwing the child to the wolves is one. Hiding the child completely away is another. Leave a child totally alone in the darkness and they'll become one with it. It'll devour them. Evil likes to prey on the most innocent and unprotected ones first. On the other hand, though, one day, every little girl and every little boy will hear things and know things that will cause them to become less of a child; things that will take away the innocence. Every child will sometime see the darkness. And if we have deceived them into thinking that all the world is Candyland, they will one day, all in a flash, all on their own, find out there's a Mordor. And there they will be. Defenseless and confused and angry. And so very weak.
That's why they have to be ready. Dangerous. Quick. The things that are put into them will be there forever. Give them eyes full of grace. Hearts full of joy. Minds full of goodness. "Bellies full of laughter" (N.D. Wilson).
And when they see the ugliest darkness, they'll be able to laugh in its face, because they'll know that one day there'll only be Light.