When news of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary first broke last Friday, I was horrified. While on the one hand, I wanted to know what was going on, what happened, and why, on the other hand I wanted to shield my own children from this terrible news. Quite frankly, I didn’t want them to know. I didn’t listen to the news in front of them. We kept the TV off.
On Saturday morning, I talked with a number of friends at a Christmas Party. We all had children ranging from 4 to 10 or so and none of us had broached the topic with our kids. In fact, the only thing I had done up to that point was that I took my oldest (age 9) aside and said, “You know, LD, you can always talk to me about anything. If you have any questions about anything I’m always here for you.” By Sunday, it was clear that this was something we really had to talk about with the kids. I took some of Kara’s advice over on the GoodyBlog about what to say about the Sandy Hook tragedy and talked with LD and DD (age 7) separately about those terrible events. Although my kids weren’t heading off to school Monday morning (we homeschool and don’t have any group activities Monday mornings) we were particularly worried that LD might hear about it from other kids at his gymnastics practice on Monday evening (where he would spend 4 hours training).
How little did we know…We found out that two of LD’s teammates are cousins of one of the little boys who died. That little boy left behind two grieving parents, a 12-year-old brother and 10-year-old sister. A family member set up a website for them so they could take time off from work to grieve and be with their two surviving children. It made us feel good to be able to do something to help LD’s teammates’ extended family. I can’t tell you how it hurt my heart to tell LD about his teammates’ cousin. We both welled up and hugged each other. “It’s just so sad, Mom. So sad,” LD whispered.
You might not have a personal connection to a family like this, but if you are led to help, there are general donation funds for the grieving families. You can find more information over at the GoodyBlog – 6 ways to help families of Sandy Hook victims.
It is just so sad.