Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

Husband and I were caught up in the memorials and stories emerging from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting last Friday.  We mostly read online and kept it off of the television.  We took turns wiping our eyes and hugging Little Miss just a little tighter.  We mostly shielded the event from Little Miss as much as we could.  Then, during Sunday Night Football, we were silent along with the stadium in respect for the victims.  Little Miss was not and would not listen to us.  So, I tried talking to her to no effect.  Then, we booted her to bed.

When she got to bed, she looked up at me wide-eyed.  I just told her we were being quiet because something sad happened.  She wanted to know what happened.  "I'm ready to listen.  You can tell me now," she said.  She was so earnest and interested.  I hesitated.  Maybe if she was older or if she caught some footage on television, I would tell her.  I don't want to lie, but I also want to keep her protected from the world just a little longer.  She did press me a few more times in a very solemn way, in a way I've never seen her before, but I held off telling her the entire truth.  I told her there was just something very sad on television.  She just nodded, and I was grateful that was all she needed to know before lying down to bed.

I know there will come a time where she'll be exposed to a situation on television or in school, and we'll have to have a conversation with her, but we haven't gotten there yet.  This jump between 4 and 5 is traumatic enough for us.  She's grown up and matured overnight, it seems, but then in some ways, she's still our little girl.  I feel somewhat cowardly for not coming clean, but she'll grow up soon enough. Meanwhile, she can stay our little girl for one day more.

UPDATE:  In the meantime, Husband sent me an article where a woman told her children, aged 3 and 6.  I do understand telling small children especially if there is an older sibling.  I also think I would tell Little Miss if she was in kindergarten already or in public school where the lock downs are happening more often and where news is spreading quickly that it would help her deal with all the adult panic.  So, ultimately, we may change our course of action, but we haven't yet and, if we do, I want us both to be there for her

FURTHER UPDATE:  Husband did tell me later in the day that he agreed with everything I said and thought.  It's always nice to know that we're on the same page for big decisions.  It's only the television and menu that causes bickering.