Join me for a stiff drink…

…while I join the rest of the world in contemplating today’s tragic events. 

I, too, am heartbroken.  When I first heard about the news of Sandy Hook Elementary, I was being annoyed by my two children.  They were bouncing around our small kitchen, talking too loud, playing loud, annoying music on my iPhone —  basically driving me crazy.  I stopped and looked around at my little ones and tried to imagine being of those parents, never being able to hear my two babies talk, laugh, or even whine ever again.  And I felt grateful.  I couldn’t imagine my life without them and thankfully, I didn’t have to. 

I can’t believe that this is the second time in a matter of months that I am writing in my blog about a mass shooting.  I think I also join the rest of the world in asking “Why?  How could someone to do this….to kids?”  I can’t begin to understand how someone could do something like this.  Again, I am thankful.  I am sane and, therefore, I find this truly horrific act of violence incomprehensible.

I, too, want to know why these shootings keep happening and what we can to do prevent them, to protect people.  This desire for answers is only intensified by the age of the victims.  They could have been my children.

But while I understand the desire for answers and perhaps, more importantly, solutions, I don’t think it’s that easy. 

Tonight, I was included in a mass email from another parent at our pre-school urging everyone to search for ways to increase security at our school.  While I understand the motivation, this is not a solution, it’s a band-aid.  Our school already has a pretty good security system in place, as did Sandy Hook Elementary. 

What if they manage to lock up the school, install metal detectors, the whole nine yards, I ask:

  • Is that a school we want to send our children too?
  • Is that a life we want to live?
  • What happens when the kids go outside to play?  Do we stop that?  Do we build a bubble?
  • And most importantly, where does it end?

I would love to conclude this entry with answers or solutions, but I don’t have any to offer.  But I will conclude with the following pieces of advice, (that I will do my best to take to heart as well):

  • Love your children
  • Shower them with affection
  • Show them how to express emotions in a healthy way
  • Teach them that the world is not perfect – people and events are bound to hurt and disappoint them – but there is always hope
  • Tell them they are not perfect and they are also bound to make mistakes, but that these mistakes should not define them
  • Teach them to forgive
  • Teach them to love and care for others
  • Lead by example, not just words, especially when you make a mistake (they need to know you are human too)
  • Teach them how to be the perfect parents you wish you could be

Let’s all agree to make our kids better people than we are, so that the next generation can be kinder, more tolerant, more emotionally stable than the one before.  That’s the best answer I have right now.

 

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2 responses

  1. Jen some really good advice and points you make. There really are no words to adequately convey the horror of this situation. I’m not even a parent and in a weird way I’m grateful for that (at this moment,) because the horror that every parent across the land must be feeling must be immense. The only thing I can say is that as usual people will look at this and use it as a flashpoint argument about gun control, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t, but this is obviously a situation involving severe mental illness. Not in anyway giving this guy a pass, but in all these mass killings we unfortunately keep seeing there were signs beforehand and some (not all) of these events could have been avoided. In the scramble to put away the guns & wrap everybody in a protective bubble I think important factors like this get overlooked. These are complex issues and they can’t be resolved by quick easy fixes, which is what so many want. That’s it for me. Best to you & yours. Hug your kids.

    • I am beginning to think that we need to re-evaluate the very basics of society. We are all clearly perpetuating some cycle that is creating people like this and then failing to recognize and act on the signs, and perhaps thirdly, arming them with insane types of weaponry.

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