I had just laid down with Alex for a nap and decided to scroll through Twitter really quick. I take it back. I just want to curl up in a ball with my boys and tell them just how blessed I am to be able to hug and kiss them. The tears wont stop falling and my heart is broken.
You see, this violence and hate is still so new to me. I don't understand it. I grew up isolated, on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. And my elementary days were the best! Before school we would gather at a friends house. I remember we would leave early some days and take the "scenic" route. Going though the trailers, cutting though White Park, back to the Ivy Gym before actually getting to school. At recess we ran wild. Always staying on school grounds. OK that's a lie. I did hear of kids...OK I have ran across the street to a friends house during recess. Such a troublemaker! But that's what we did, some of us anyways. We were carefree. No fear. We would ride to and from school. Most of the time with out supervision. Although there were always eyes on you. The mom our for her morning walk, the other parents going to work and the teaches that passed you reminding you not to be late.
I know we talked about things like this. I remember D.A.R.E and McGruff assemblies and the fire drills. But it was paradise. Nothing bad ever happened. Clay on the teachers chair, a few teachers bikes went missing. You know what I was scared of in elementary school. The Principal. Never in my life did I once think about anyone coming in to the school to hurt any of us. We were not so sheltered that we didn't know that these things happened, but we knew they never happened to us. I grew up in a bubble.
During summer vacations, we would leave the island and that feeling of being invincible stuck to me. We would wander around the hotels. The mall. The beach. I wont lie. I talked to strangers. Said hello to every homeless person I saw. I was just trying to be nice. The thought that someone might want to hurt me never crossed my mind. Dad reminded me quite a few times. Especially as I got older.
Now that I have kids and I see the craziness of the "real world," I tend to lean on the more cautious side. But guess what. My kids, they love people. Anthony, after he grew out of his shy stage, would talk to anyone. He always wanted to go to neighbors houses and go inside. Or invite the people we passed on our walk to the mail box over to play. He is a spitting image of me as a child and it scares the CRAP out of me. The hours and hours we spend talking about why you shouldn't talk to strangers, or go with them. The talks about being cautious and aware of your surroundings. I pray everyday that he retains it all. But one day he says "Why would anyone want to hurt me?" The same exact words I mouthed off to my Dad once. Karma. So all I can do is remind him over and over. And hope to God he is listening.
How do I explain to him so he can understand. When I tell him there are people out there who are sick and want to hurt people, and he looks at me with those big brown eyes and says "that's so sad," its heartbreaking. And then he wants to know why they are sick and how someone could hurt another person or animal. And then he asks about the pain it causes and it all usually ends up in him giving me some of the best hugs ever. But I know they are out of sadness. Hes a lover. Hes 7. I wonder if the school talk to the kids about things like this. Do they have a plan for this kind of situation? I will talk to him about it. Maybe not today but, but soon. Once I figure out the how to explain such tragedy to him. I hate to think that this is the kind of world our kids are growing up in. Makes me want to pack it all up and find a way home. Back to no guns. No cars. I'd deal with sharks and sunburns any day.
My hearts go out to the parents of the children who won't be coming home tonight. Who will miss them even more when their presents sit unopened Christmas Day. What is this world coming to?