Sandy Hook

I don't even know where to begin.  I'd heard vaguely about last Friday's tragedy while on my way to Little Guy's school.  As I walked into his classroom to volunteer my time I looked around to find the children having such fun in their centers.  The teacher gave them "Fun Friday," and they were just stoked.

As Little Guy and I drove home, the story of what happened in Connecticut came on the radio, and picturing the sweet faces of the kindergarten class I had just left, I couldn't stop the tears.  Little Guy asked, "Mom, are you crying?" 



What do you say?  What do you tell your 5 year old when something like this happens?  I have always been of the belief that when a child asks his or her parent a question, it is the parent's duty to answer it to the best of their ability.  For if your child can't count on you for the real and proper answer, how will they feel about coming to you later in life for those really tough questions?  Will they be able to trust you?  Will they feel comfortable talking with you about the difficult stuff? 

So I told Little Guy something I never imagined saying to him - that a man went into a school with his gun and shot people.  And that I was crying because I was so sad for the victims and their families who are going to miss them. 

After much discussion on who (6 year olds!?), and how, and why (why?!), Little Guy felt clued in and our discussion dwindled into silence. 

All I could think was, I shouldn't have to have this conversation with my 5 year old.  But you know what?  I did.  The truth is that things like do happen.  And they are happening more often.  I'm not going to get into why or what we should be doing to stop it, because I don't have answers about national policies, but I do have answers about our children. 

Pay attention to your children.  Show them love.  They are people.  Their needs and feelings are important, and building a trusting relationship with their parents is extremely important. 

I wonder maybe if instead of being a people that strive for money and success, we could become a people that strive for better relationships with eachother and our children. 

I cried myself to sleep that night, my heart aching for the victims and the families. 
This weekend was our town's Holiday Parade, and we were participants.  I couldn't help but thinking as I watched all the kids putting the finishing touches on their floats or costumes, that this could be the next place.  This could be the setting of the next crazed gunmans rampage.  And then I got mad. 
I realized that this horrific event has affected the population in numerous ways.  It has caused despair and sadness, it has caused fear and panic, and it has caused love and kindness.  It is up to you to determine how it affects you.  Once I moved past the despair and sadness, the fear and panic moved in.  I quickly pushed that aside to make room for the love and kindness. 

There were hundreds of children lining the street that night as the parade rolled by, and I looked into the eyes of each child as I wished them a Merry Christmas and handed out candy canes.  Their sweet, innocent little eyes which should know nothing of fear and tragedy. 
Make time for your children, say hello to your neighbors, let that car switch lanes, give the woman behind you in the checkout line with only 2 items the go ahead.  These are such small things, but they could be making an immense impact on the world. 

Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.   

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