Love Wins

When I spoke to my 6yo daughter on Sunday about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, I focused on the brave teachers and good people who rushed to protect the children. And I talked to her about being a leader in a situation when her teacher is trying to keep her safe, like reminding her friends to be quiet for teacher, or holding the hand of a friend who is scared. I told her that even when something awful is happening, we have to try to be the very best we can be.

When the football game we were watching ended, our neighbors said goodbye and headed home, and for a brief moment life felt normal. Then my four year old son asked why President Obama looked so sad. I turned off the tv as Amelia’s head shot up from the toys she was playing with because we had told her this morning we did not want Benny knowing about the shooting.
Mr. Pigtail Pals started to explain to him that the president was sad because he was talking to people in a town where a sad thing had happened at a school. Benny started to ask a second question when Amelia walked over to him and said, “Benny, sometimes bad things happen that we don’t understand. If something ever happened at your school, even if you are scared, try to be the best that you can be. Stay quiet and wait for me, and I will come running for you.”

Benny rested his head on his big sister’s shoulder, safe in the knowledge of his four year old world that his big sister is his hero. I hated to have to tell her today about this event, it is something that should have never happened and something no family should have to live through or have explain to a child. The details were left out — like the fact it was first graders just like her who were the children killed or that a principal just like her own went running towards the gunman.

But I do not regret telling her the little bit that I did. Because what my husband and I could not make sense of this weekend and are really in too much pain to cry or talk about, our six year worked out what our brains needed to understand.

Love wins. Even in the very, very darkest of times, love wins. It may not change things or make everything right, but it is what will get us through.