Hugs and Breaking Hearts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that something horrific happened on Friday.  Too many families went home that day without their precious children.  As the news filtered out and we began to get a clearer picture of what happened, and as the death count rose, I began to get antsy at work.  Web programming and answering e-mails didn’t seem important anymore.  All I could think about was getting home to my kids to hug and kiss them.

When quitting time finally came, I couldn’t get home fast enough.  I entered the door and rushed right in to my kids playing.  I called them to me and gave them each a very big, very tight hug.  They didn’t have any clue why, but at that moment all I wanted was to keep my kids safe and close to me.

We kept the news off while the kids were awake, but I had heard plenty before coming home.  Once the boys were asleep, I couldn’t bear to listen to another news report.  I can only take so much sad news.  My heart was breaking for everyone involved.  I spent the night decompressing by playing some video games and watching comedies.

On Sunday, we decided that the kids might hear something about the tragedy in school the next day.  We didn’t want them hearing about it first from school so we told them some of what happened.  We told them that something bad happened and many people died.  We said that this has made us (and many other people) very sad.

So far, we don’t plan on telling them more.  As parents, we want to shield them from the horrific truth.  We want to protect their innocence and spare them the anxiety of wondering when their lives will be invaded by terror.  We can only do that so much, though.  The "real world" will intervene, so it is up to us to filter the information into a form that our kids can more easily understand.

Let’s just hope and pray that we never again need to shield our kids from a horror like this.