When I wrote the last post, the first reports of Newtown were just starting to trickle in. I spent the remainder of the day like so many, staring blankly at my screen, the need to squeeze my daughter growing stronger and stronger. On the way home, all the energy used to keep it together during the day vanished, and I sobbed the entire drive. I was wracked with relief over being able to go home to my baby and overcome with guilt that I was able to and so many parents were not. I avoided the TV all weekend, and when an email from the principal at Emma’s school asked parents to please talk with their children about what had happened, I shut down. Nope, not going to do it.
But we did. On Sunday night we sat her down and told her, in the most general terms we could manage, what had happened. We assured her she was safe, which felt like a hollow promise. How can guarantee anything? But we promised. And we told her we would talk to her about anything she wanted, and answer any questions she may have. She was solemn and asked only if they caught the person who did these terrible things. Yes, we said. He won’t hurt anyone else anymore. As I walked her to room at bedtime, she told me she would have rather not known about what happened, confirming my feeling about not wanting to tell her. And that night she asked to sleep with me.
I don’t want to think about it anymore, but I do. I’m angry that I have the luxury of not HAVING to think about it. Guilty. So instead I hug my kid a little harder.