This week I am hugging my kids a little closer.
Their innocence is a breath of fresh air in a world of heartbreaking stories.
Emma doesn't know what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. At least not yet.*
Her eyes are full of the same twinkle and her mouth has the same impish grin as she tries to trick us and tease us and startle us.
Teacher: If I put 7 green cubes in this empty bag, and I pull one out, what color will it be?
Emma: Anything is possible! God could change the color of a cube if he wanted to!
Emma tells me that she even crossed out the word "impossible" in the word bank and wrote, "Nothing is impossible with God!"
I'd love to bottle up that faith and save some for later. And figure out how to cultivate classroom manners in the meantime!
But mostly I'm just delighted to have her.
*After I wrote this post Emma came home from Sunday school wondering what happened in Connecticut. It was inevitable, I guess. We told her that 20 children had died. She asked how. I waited until we were alone and explained that a man with a gun had gone into their school and killed them and their teachers. She was sober, but wondered why kids weren't supposed to be talking about it. I explained that grown-ups didn't want kids to be scared to go to school. She said, "I'm not scared. Something like that is very unlikely to happen at [my school]." And she's right. I'm glad her sense of "probability" is better when it comes to real life situations than it is in math class!
Our school district provided a helpful link for how to talk kids about violence. I took its advice yesterday by only answering Emma's questions and not filling in more details. (This is a good rule-of-thumb for talking with kids about sex, too, by the way.) And if you, like me, want to know how to prevent school violence in the first place, check out this thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written article about what triggers mass shootings.
Meanwhile, hug your kids.