The tragedy that took place on the 14th really has me questioning some things. My parenting tactics. What I do and do not tell my kids. I had completely planned on not talking to my children about this tragedy. They are only children once. It will be all too soon and they will feel the weight of the world on their shoulder....jobs, bills, responsibilities...why add to that before it's necessary? I also did not want my children going to school in fear. Though school shootings are becoming more common, they are the exception, not the rule. I knew I had a difficult time understanding Friday's events. How did I expect my children to understand. I had no intentions of talking to them about it unless they came home from school yesterday talking about it because they had heard friends talking about it.
And that's exactly what happened. However, I could tell that they had few enough details that they still did not grasp the magnitude of what took place so we closed the topic up.
Then this morning happened. Not much different from other mornings and all too common lately. Kids picking on each other until they are in tears. Siblings being siblings and I laid in bed (Jeremy let me sleep in) thinking, "My God!!! They do not realize the blessings they have before them! Here we are in a season of Thankfulness and Christmas and my kids are SO ungrateful!" All I could think about is that in Newtown CT, there were brothers and sisters WISHING they could play with their sibling one more time and it brought tears to my eyes. I brought my two oldest kids to the table and sat them down. I explained that a very bad man did do what Caleb's friend said he did. I told them that 20 1st graders died that day. Many of them had siblings. I tried to drive home the point of just how blessed they are to have each other. I told them (in tears of course) that we are not promised tomorrow and how sad would it be to never get to tell your brother or sister that you loved them or to hug them, or to have them to play with. How sad would it be to know you will never see them again this side of heaven. I told them there are 20 sets of mommy's and daddy's who probably already had presents under the tree that will not be opened this year. I told them I was very thankful and blessed to have them and they should feel the same way about each other.
Ironically, the rest of the morning was pretty peaceful. I made sure they gave their little sister a hug before they left, (they often like to leave her screaming for hug and then crying because she didn't get one). Maybe, just maybe, they'll begin to understand the value of life and family.
This should be a lesson to all of us! Life is too short! We aren't promised tomorrow. Do not leave relationships undone or broken. It's a burden too painful to carry when you do not have tomorrow to fix things!