It’s been an emotionally draining weekend, to say the least. My kids are 9 and 5….innocent, fearless, happy, sheltered (thankfully by my choice), and they love school. I chose not to proactively tell them about the events in Newtown, CT. I imagine they will hear about it in school. Then I will be honest, age-appropriate and reassuring.
At school pick-up on Friday my 5 year old ran to me as he always does, and literally jumped into my arms. I held him extra tight. I so needed that as I choked back tears. Other moms and I hugged and fought the tears. How could someone do this to innocent little boys and girls? And certainly, not forgotten, are our educators. They go to school every day to be with our kids, teach our kids, protect our kids. Some died in the line of duty on Friday. They deserve a medal of honor.
My kids went straight to a playdate on Friday after school so they were oblivious to the events unfolding, as it should be. Meanwhile I curled in front of my TV, tears running down my face, watching the news coverage, only pulling it together just in time to pick them up. And that is how the weekend went for me. Tearing up, fighting tears, then trying to pull it together. This happened when putting the kids to bed, when watching TV where they held a moment of silence, in church where we prayed for the victims and families.
Why does evil happen to children? I’m seeing it too much lately. I have no answer.
I told my kids about Owen. In fact, he is now a permanent fixture in their bedtime prayers, right along with praying for our dog, fish and hermit crab in heaven, we pray for Owen in Heaven. Deena told me that’s just where he’d want to be, among the animals. I find comfort in saying his name every night. It is always a reminder to enjoy every moment. Now I have another reminder.
I have nothing insightful to say. No explanation, no blame to place, no comforting words. I just have prayers. Prayers for the innocent lives lost. Prayers for the loved ones left behind. Prayers for everyone touched by this tragedy.
Saturday was Owen’s 17th birthday. Here is what I am picturing…on Friday I imagine a teenage boy just chillin’ in Heaven, when this group of 20 young children show up. Owen, in his cool, calm, fun way welcomes these children to this awesome place called Heaven and tells them about his grand birthday party and how they are all invited. And as is typical of 6 and 7 year olds, they LOVE the idea of a birthday party. So Saturday was a big party in Heaven. That makes me smile and I hope it makes you smile too.
Happy birthday Owen!