Today when I drove my girls to school, I saw the flag flying at half-mast and I explained to them who we were honoring today. In the shock of the initial news of the tragic event in Newtown, CT I was sickened and couldn't think about telling my kids. But I wanted to talk to them for just a moment today before they went to school and heard from friends who might also be scared of the future.
My 9yo asked me, "But why would someone do that?"
She asked as if it was the most impossible, improbable event and I could see the fear in her eyes as she connected that if someone could do that to an elementary school, then maybe we weren't so safe. She asked, "Was it at my school?"
I had already explained to her that it was very far away, but I answered her again that it wasn't at her school. I encouraged my girls to pray for those children and families who lost a loved one during this holiday season and that is what I'm doing today.
I feel a great sadness for Newtown, CT, an anger for horrible people who hurt the innocent, and I'm grasping onto my faith because I know those women and children are with God. After I talked to my girls, I saw a picture of my grandmother on my screen saver. She passed away in March, I told my 9yo that maybe Great Grandma was there to help some of those children enter heaven.
How do you cope with tragic events like this? What do you tell your children to help them understand without creating fear?