You'll notice I started writing this post on Saturday evening and just came back to it now.
Aww, Saturday morning sweetness. They have no idea what happened in Newtown yesterday. No idea that other little kids, just like them, were murdered inside their classrooms less than 60 miles away from here. I wish they never had to know these things. I wish I never had to know these things.
I heard about the shooting rampage Friday afternoon through Facebook messages on my phone. People kept referencing a tragedy in Connecticut, so I pulled up an article that reported several shot, two confirmed dead. I gasped and then put my phone away and played with Ollie. It was hard not to tune into the live coverage, but I was hanging out with itty bitty eyes and ears. Later that night I found out about all the fatalities.
It's horrible. It's maddening. It's something I can't really wrap my brain around, nor would I expect my child to. Tom and I are super aware of what we watch -- and discuss -- in front of our brood. We don't turn on the News at home while the kids are awake. Our local tri-state coverage (NY, NJ, CT) is chock full of crime stories on a regular day. Children simply don't need to see it. Buby is sweet, sensitive and empathetic. He feels everything and always points to the good in others. Bleu is curious, smart and detail-oriented, but she has a tendency to over think, focus on the negative, and worry enough for all of us. We generally keep the television off Monday through Friday, at least until after the babes are asleep in their cozy nests. (Don't feel too bad for them. They get their Curious George and Strawberry Shortcake on the weekends while we wait for the oven timer to ding.)
I went to bed agonizing about the shooter. I wondered about his mom, his dad, his brother, and WHAT could have happened in his life to bring him to this point. If I thought too much about all those six and seven year olds I would be sick. It hits too close to home. I imagine that's how everyone (from a distance) felt as this horror unfolded. Confused and heartbroken. Grateful. Worried. Sick and tired. It's devastating to think how life as we know it can change in an instant. How there are plans (in this world that involve our babies) that we don't make ourselves. My daughter thrives on predictability and routine, as I'm sure do most of the students at Sandy Hook Elementary. I keep thinking that nothing about their lives now will feel predictable or routine, and my heart aches for them as they start to navigate their way to a new normal.
Sunday afternoon Buby overheard someone else mention "school shooting" and immediately asked me about it. I had to tell him and his sister the absolute basics... "there was an incident at a school far far away... kids were hurt... and people all over are very sad about it." Buby responded, "was it a bad guy?" I said, "yes." He said, "did he have a g-u-n?" (Note: Buby spells this word, because in his mind it's sort of like the "h" word, the "s" word, and the "u" word.) I said, "yes." Bleu was not paying attention, and that seemed to be enough of an explanation for Buby. I prayed that his older classmates wouldn't discuss the details of it the following day, either during school or in Academics Club afterwards. Luckily they did not.
Bleu certainly doesn't need a reason to feel unsafe in her daily environment. When we do someday decide to expose our children to nightly news -- unfiltered by us -- I will try to remember the Mr. Rogers quote. It's a nice sentiment. Still, I wish they never had to know these things happen. Violence is a horrible thing to know, whatever age you are.