Such a horrific, mind boggling crime.
This weekend, I looked at my 8 year old daughter. I watched as she prepared to go to a slumber party at her good friend's house. Her excitement was contagious. And cute. Sometimes, I swear I can catch a glimpse of the young woman she will become....and boy, we are in for some serious trouble! I thought back to when she was the same age as the young victims and starting Kindergarten. She was so excited about school and felt like such a big kid, going to the "big kid school" and all. She adored her teacher and loved the school work. It made me sad on Friday to think that the survivors from Sandy Hook Elementary may never be excited about school again. Their excitement may now be replaced by terror.
I looked at my 4-year old son. He will start Kindergarten in the Fall. I have been worried about whether he's going to be ready - he's such a smart kid, but also a bit more reserved and more sensitive than his sister. His sister approaches pretty much everything with confidence, but he tends to be a little timid until he sees that everything is going to be okay. I want him to be excited about school and not be fearful about his safety.
Who am I kidding? I want to feel confident that they are safe, too! For both of my kids, I am looking forward to all those special moments - starting school, club activities, first dates, proms, weddings, and the list goes on.
I sent my husband a text on Friday as I was leaving work. It basically said that I wanted to start homeschooling....something that I would be terrible at! But then then I started to reflect on everything that has happened this year. What would be next? Home shopping? Home churching? No more movie theatres? These types of things happen in a variety of places. I decided that hiding out in our home is not the answer. We cannot live in fear. I refuse. Really, the only thing we can do is keep living and show that we are not afraid.
This weekend as my group ran our 12-miler, we didn't talk about the incident at all. At one point, some runners approached us from behind and were talking about it. It's just not something I wanted to talk about during a run. But, I did think about it during my run. A lot. I silently dedicated each step to the administrators and children who were lost. I sent mental prayers to the first responders who had to witness the scene and notify the parents. I sent comforting thoughts to the parents and families. The Hubs, kids and I spent quite a bit of quality time together this weekend, even with the Kiddo's slumber party on Saturday. I gave both kids some extra hugs and I love yous. And, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel some anxiety when I dropped both of the kids off this morning.
Sure, we can shelter our children from the world as much as possible. I love that they are so innocent and so naive. I have no intention of saying anything to my kids about this. They know nothing of the mall shooting in Oregon or the movie theatre shooting in Aurora. There are evil things in the world, which they will eventually learn. Other than "stranger danger" and knowing what to do in the event of a house fire, they don't need to be exposed to the scariness that is the real world. Not yet, anyway. In the meantime, I will try to be strong in faith and know that He is with us. That gives me comfort.
So as we go through the week and through the holidays, remember those who lost their lives on Friday. Pray for them, their families, the first responders and the community of Newton, CT. And do one better - think of a way to do something this week to make a difference. Give someone a compliment or smile, open the door for someone, take your neighbor's newspaper to their doorstep, pay someone's toll, leave an extra tip, or offer to watch a tired mom's kids, ...do something to make the world a better place. The world can use all the help it can get.
Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart. ~Anne Frank
- Here's a link to a memorial for the victims of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
- And, here's something a bit more happy...26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year. There's one for each life lost.
- Here's a link to information about discussing this tragedy with your children.