When hearing of tragedy, my kids will often times ask, “why does God let this happen?”
My head often falls forward, and my heart feels flush. You can generally ask me a hundred different “why’s” and I’ll have some inkling of an answer. But not this “why.”
I still cry about it. And again this morning. Walking outside to see the fog on the car window, I think of one of the little 6 year old boys that wrote, "I love you, Mom" in the frost of his mother's car window the morning of the shooting.
I think maybe the Sandy Hook tragedy made us – people, as a whole -- better. I know it made me better. Made my family better. As ironic that is to read, it’s equally as awkward to type. But somehow, it’s true. Ever since the tragedy, I have a different perspective. Maybe more patience. I’m more engaged, no doubt. More appreciative for the three unique children I am raising. I’m more grateful, for sure.
As a family, we exchange more “I love you’s” before we venture off for the day. We hug and kiss, and the squeezes appear a little tighter…and maybe even a second or two longer. Sending our kids off to school and they sending us off to work, is as routine as any other, but what exists in the back of our minds is the question, “what if they don’t come home?”
I’m a little less irritable about the unmade beds when I walk past their rooms. A little more willing to cut off their crust. And 100 times more attentive when they have something “important” to say.
As we’re teaching our 18 month old to say “I love you,” I can’t help but think of the Sandy Hook parents who wish to hear those words. Today, I’m thinking on them, the parents who have to figure out how to live without those they lived for. Where do they begin?
How has the tragedy changed the way you parent?