Thursday, December 20, 2012

Monsters in the woods


Friday, December 14, 2012, you witnessed your mother absolutely fall apart at the seams. When I arrived at your daycare, I simply could not get myself together. The news was far too terrible that day for me to even attempt.

You asked me why I was crying and I was far too upset to even muster a gentle answer. Instead, through broken words and tears streaming down my face, I told you the truth.

A man went into a school and shot a lot of people. They died. Most of them were kids. 5 and 6 year olds. Babies. And I am still amazed at how well you both digested that information.

There are no words. None. To find a way to describe what news like that does to your heart. A tragedy that echos on so many levels. My brain went through the many tiers of horrific sadness...parents that lost their babies that day....children that witnessed the unspeakable....parents that have to find a way to help their children cope and make sense of the senseless....parents that had to explain to younger or older children that their brother or sister wasn't coming home ever again....parents looking at Christmas gifts that will never be opened and stockings that will forever remain empty on the hook.

We lied to you. You asked if there were monsters and we said no. And while there isn't an actual Boogy Man that lives under your bed or in your closet, there's a Boogy Man out in the world....lots of them actually. Despite my best efforts to protect you, the reality is that your Mom and Dad are powerless....and that kills me.

When I hug you, I'm sorry if I squeeze you too tight. I'm sorry if I linger just a moment longer than you like. But my brain changed when I became a mother. Suddenly, I was hyper aware of everything in the world that could hurt you, and the older you guys get, I'm more aware than ever that there is so much that's out of my control.

I imagine in the years that are to come, we'll be witness to other unspeakable tragedies and you'll have so many questions. I promise you that I'll always do my best to answer them, but know that sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes there's absolutely no way we can prevent the horrific, despite our best efforts. I promise to always hold you tight and reassure you. I promise to do my very best to be there for you. I promise all of this and more.

But you promise me. Promise me that you will recognize that emotions are temporary. That we should never, ever act on those emotions because those actions become permanent. Promise me that you'll find SOMEONE to talk to. I hope it's me or your Dad, but even if it's not...find someone. Your Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents. A teacher. Someone. Promise me. Just promise.

And always, always, always know that I love you.

More than words.