For Sandy Hook

I’m shattered, as we all are I’m sure, by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I look at Brady who, if he wasn’t homeschooled, would be in Kindergarten next fall and I’m struck by how much of a baby he still is in so many ways. He has only been fully weaned since June, he still has a little trouble with ‘r’ sounds sometimes, still comes in to snuggle in the middle of the night most nights. I’ve been watching him sleep more than I usually do since this happened and I look at the curve of his pudgy cheek, his dimpled little fingers, his lips pursed and “sleep nursing” and I just cannot fathom it. How anyone could look at a child, any child, and harm them. And these children were just on that threshold between toddlerhood and big kid-dom, still unfolding, so full of potential. I, like everyone, just keep trying to make sense of the senseless. And I keep holding Brady tight and trying to figure out how to protect him in a world gone mad. In a world where, in the wake of this senseless tragedy people went out and bought more guns. A world where a trip to a movie theater or a mall or your kindergarten classroom can end your life.  It makes me want to never leave the house. It makes me want to buy him body armor and a helmet and never ever let him out of my sight. And I know that’s neither possible or fair, but man, what do you even do.  He’s blissfully unaware of all of this and I am working hard to keep him that way, only allowing him to watch dvds or christmas shows we’ve recorded on the dvr to avoid commercials and steering him away from newspapers in grocery stores. It’s harder now that he can read and I know it will be impossible soon as he becomes more involved in groups and lessons and things he will inevitably hear about these things from other children. So I wanted to share this link from PBS about talking with children about tragedy and Levar Burton on NPR and here’s Mister Roger’s talking about it as well.

I’m not going to talk about our country’s lax gun control or the dearth of resources for people with mental illness. I have done that elsewhere, but that is not what this space is about. This is where I keep track of our homeschooling journey and where I share things that I hope will help other parents and families. So all I’m going to say is I wish you and your family peace. And then I’m going to hold my boy close and continue to prepare our home for the upcoming holiday while being gobsmacked with gratitude for Brady every time I wrap a present or run a bath or tuck him in or any of the million little things that go along with nurturing a small child and that these broken families will never again get to do. And I’m going to leave you with this quote from Mister Roger’s.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” -Fred Rogers

And a couple concrete ways in which you can be a helper if you are moved to do so:

Here’s a fundraiser for one of the families affected.

And here’s a link that has a more generalized fundraiser as well as an address where you can send cards/letters/gifts to the bereaved families.


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