…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.