Friday, December 14, 2012

For a moment, I wished you couldn't read

Dear Luke:

Today we learned about a terrible tragedy.  We learned that someone went into an elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 of their teachers.  No one knows why.  The reasons why wouldn't take away the pain and confusion even if we knew them.

I had a busy day at work today and could only get small bits of information about what was unfolding in Connecticut.  My thoughts were with our friends and family nearby, hoping that they were no where near the school at the time. 

When I got home, everyone had already eaten dinner.  I walked in the door, hugging everyone as quickly as I could.  As you and Will and Matt got ready for bed, I ate a bit of dinner and started to read news stories about Newtown on the iPad.  As I got up to refill my drink, you snuck to the table and started reading the story I had pulled up on the screen.  It could only have been 20 seconds that you read the story, but you're so smart, buddy.  You read words at a second grade level and you comprehend the words that you read.  I didn't want you to read those words.  I didn't want you to comprehend anything.

In that moment, I wished that you couldn't read.  I wish that you weren't on the verge of losing innocence and learning about something so horrific.  I didn't know how to give you answers to the questions you might ask.

In the story I was reading, the author mentioned a dad at the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary who was covering his son's eyes with his forearm... trying to save him from the reality of the situation and trying to preserve innocence.  I tried to do the same thing.  I shut off the iPad and asked if you'd gotten a chance to read anything on the screen.  You said no.  I was grateful.

In the upcoming hours and days, we will learn more about the gunman.  The victims' names will be released.  Their stories will be shared.  These young, innocent children were in elementary school.  Many of them - like you and Will - were in kindergarten.  Five and six years old.  Unbelievably young. 

This story will hit close to home for everyone.  Newtown could be any town, anywhere in this country.  Sandy Hook could have been your schools.  Today was every parent's biggest fear.  I drove home from work in tears and couldn't wait to hug you all.  I felt so fortunate to hug you and your brothers when I walked in the door.

I know you're going to grow up one day, and I know that stories like this one will be - painfully but realistically - topics of conversation.  I hope in those days I am more prepared to give you answers to the things that don't make sense.  I hope in those moments, we can have a conversation about the world, the people in it, and the unpredictability of it all.  I hope that when we talk about all of this, you're much older. 

I am praying for the families in Newtown tonight.  The families who lost children.  Young children who lost friends.  Husbands who lost wives, kids who lost mothers.  A community struggling for answers.  For the innocence lost in the survivors. 

I love you so much, Luke.  I am grateful that you're home tonight, sleeping peacefully in your bed.  I am grateful that Will and Matt are doing the same. 

All my love,

1 comment:

Schatzi04 said...

And we pray. Trying to understand the unthinkable. Love. Mom