So, this post may piss people off, but I'm not going to give enough of my opinion away to really send anyone over the edge.
What happened in CT on Friday is devastating. I cannot believe that it happened and weep whenever I read something new about this horrific situation or one of the victims. I think we can all agree that no matter what I write about that incident, it won't significantly describe how I'm feeling, how you're feeling, how we're all feeling. There just aren't words with enough power in the English language.
My ability to try to live my own life and to try to let other live their own life has kept me in a really happy little bubble. I do what I do. You do what you do. That lady over there does what she does and everything is fine. It's not my business and I'm just fine with you. You know your family. You know your kids. You know what works best in your house. Who am I to judge?
(unless you abuse your kids and then I'll open my mouth)
Until something like this happens...and people are at a complete loss. Then then turn to the internet, namely Facebook, to see what other people are doing. People who have a lot of experience dealing with children offer their personal opinions, share professional sites that give lists of ideas and things to watch for, as well as give personal advice stemming from their professional experiences dealing with kids after tragedies.
Then you watch people do just the opposite...tons of people do the opposite and then sit back biting their fingernails, questioning their decision, wondering if trusting their husband was the "right thing to do."
(writing about it on Facebook like that's going to do anything)
The thing is, I don't think there is just one "right way" to handle this. There are many right ways to approach this with children...they may not always be comfortable or easy for parents, but there are things we can do.
Everyone wants some magic button to make their child understand what happened in a way that won't scare them. Everyone wants their children to understand the seriousness of listening to their teachers in light of what the teachers in CT did for those kids, but they want to do it without going overboard. Everyone wants to be able to speak to their children about what happened to these poor sweet babies in a way that will still make their poor sweet babies feel safe. No one wants to intentionally scare their children or make them feel unsafe...no one.
However, there is no easy way to do this.
There will be questions.
There will be tears.
There will be fear.
Personally, I'd rather be there for those questions, tears, and fear rather than having my kids hear it from someone at school whose nitwit parent had the television on all weekend making ignorant remarks about shit they don't have a fucking clue about. I'd rather be the person they hear it from. I'd rather be the one to give them the talk and answer their questions and wipe their tears and appease their fears. Maybe it's the control freak in me, but it's my job as a parent to make sure that my children are well-informed and the minute they walk out of my house with a gap in their knowledge, it leaves a perfect avenue for someone else to fill that gap...and I'm just not comfortable with that.
All of that being said, I did not tell the Crazies. They are in preschool. They are not yet 4-years old. They wouldn't understand it. They are not developmentally ready to understand that something that happened somewhere else wouldn't necessarily happen everywhere to everyone. They're way too literal.
Most of my advice, experience, and opinions went to parents with elementary age children...
Most of the parents were scared.
Most of the parents were afraid to cry.
Most of the parents didn't want to talk about this b/c if you don't talk about it, it couldn't possible happen here.
I just hope it doesn't come back on them this afternoon...at which point, I'll be trying to be quiet.