Sunday, December 16, 2012

What I Told My Children About Sandy Hook

Girls, I have to tell you something. Something bad has happened, and oh, how I wish I didn't have to tell you about this. But, it's a big thing, a lot of adults are talking about it on TV and all around, and I think you'll hear about it eventually. So, I want to tell you first, so you can ask me questions.

On Friday, a man went to an elementary school in Connecticut. He had a gun, and he killed kids and teachers with it, then he killed himself. No one knows why yet. Sometimes, people do very bad things when their minds are ill.  You know that if you have diabetes, your body doesn't handle sugars from food normally, and if you have cancer, part of your body grows too much, and those are both illnesses. Well, mental illnesses, and there are many different kinds, they happen when your brain doesn't work normally and changes the way you think and act. We don't know if this man had a mental illness, but we guess that he might because of his actions.

Anyway, we people hear about a bad thing that happened, they sometimes worry that the same bad thing can happen to them. This man did a very bad thing, and I hate that it happened, but I am not worried about it happening to you. This kind of thing is so rare, it almost never happens. There is nothing the school could have done to prevent it from happening. There is nothing you or I or your school can do to make sure it never, ever happens to you, just like there is nothing we can do to make sure a meteor never falls from space onto your school. I'm not worried about it.

But what if I die? Oh, I will die. So will you. We all do, and it's okay. So we could be scared and worried about bad things happening to us, and that will give us a small, scared life. Or we could not worry, and be happy, and have a big, full, fun life. Which one do you want?

Me, too. Let's do it. Let's have that big, full, fun life.

(At this point Terza said, "Rock on, Mama".)

Oh, and one more thing. I'm telling you about this because I think you might hear about it, but I don't want you to bring it up with your friends. Their parents may not have told them yet, and it's just not something you need to bring up. But, if your friends talk about it, you can talk about it with them. And if they are worried, I hope you can be reassuring. Tell them why we don't need to worry. Ask them to do something fun.

I love you.

That ended our talk, but our conversation will continue. I can't know for sure if I did the right thing by starting it in this way, but I think I did.

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