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The news updates kept rolling in Friday.
With every new report of the Connecticut elementary school shooting, my heart broke — over and over, again.
How could this happen? How could 26 lives be taken so quickly — so senselessly?
Twenty of them were children. Tears streamed down my face as I thought of their 20 little faces.
I couldn’t begin to imagine their parents’ pain and anguish. I couldn’t stop sobbing. My heart hurt. As a mom, I am grieving.
Our children are innocent. Sweet blessings from God. They shouldn’t have to endure such pain. No one should.
Each morning as I prepare my 4-year-old daughter for school, I whisper in her ear: “Today, you’re going to have the most beautiful and best day ever.” Then I kiss her forehead as she heads off to school safe and sound.
Am I a liar? What if she’s not safe? Once more, reality proves how wrong our assumptions can be.
After hearing news of the school shooting, I wanted to run to her, to squeeze her tight, and tell her “Mommy loves you.”
But I didn’t. I stopped myself. So many families are grieving, and I selfishly thought of my own child.
During momaha’s 2 p.m. Friday live chat, I was reassured that I wasn’t the only parent who had the same inclination.
Omahan Naty Palos, 27, called her son’s school to notify them she was picking him up early. A school counselor convinced her to let the 5th-grader finish the day. Reluctantly, she agreed.
So how do you talk to your children about such a horrendous tragedy?
Gregory Snyder, a licensed psychologist at BoysTown Center for Behavioral Health, offered guidance during our live chat discussion.
“It is important simply to voice to them that all of the adults in their lives are going to be making sure that they are safe at all times,” he wrote.
But not all moms thought their children’s schools were safe.
“I hate to be the overly-concerned mom, but I feel there are safety issues lacking at our elementary school,” wrote one mom. “Not sure how to bring them up without seeming overly-protective… hopefully they are all on heightened alert now. But an incident like today should not have to happen to make the schools realize they have to be so secure, even overly crazy about security. These are our kids we are entrusting to them.”
She admitted to crying for nearly an hour and half after hearing about the school shooting.
“Can’t wait to go pick up my daughter, a kindergartener,” she wrote. “I cannot get over the fact these are little kids…our little kids. Let them wait until they are adults to be scared of this world, not at this tender age. I am in disbelief.”
As am I.
Being a mom, your first instinct is to protect your precious children.
Every time we are confronted with such violent acts, I feel so helpless.
Make it stop. Please, someone, make the pain stop.
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