Talk around the water cooler yesterday was on Newtown. Why wouldn’t it be? This unspeakable act has struck the nation, parents, children, grandparents, and each and every person in our nation and world. Why would some idiot think that shooting children would solve his problem?
I heard stories of parents who were in tears sending their child to school. Parents who felt confident that they were certain their school was doing enough to keep an event like that from happening in their school. Parents who were numb and were still trying to process everything.
My son is 2, very young and innocent. My wife is a former teacher who is unable to watch any news story about Newtown. This event struck me on many levels. What if that were my son in that school? What if that was my wife teaching in that school?
Being a husband and father, I am to be the protector of our family. That can only go so far. I can protect them in our house and while we are out shopping (which isn’t safe now either). I can protect them while we are eating at our favorite restaurant. I can protect them when I am with them, but at some point during our daily lives I have to let go.
There comes a point where I have to let go. I have to take the risk that where they are going is safe. My wife went to the mall today and my son went to school. How am I to know that those places are safe for them to go? I can’t always be with them to protect them.
I do not know what the world is coming to now. Mall shootings, theater shootings, school shootings have become the norm it seems. It almost seems the risk of going out is at the risk of your own life.
Is my son safe at daycare? Is my wife safe at the university she is going to? These are questions that will be going through my head everyday. I sit and try to process everything, and what I have come to understand is that everything happens for a reason. While immediately that reason may not be found, there is one there that you have to search for.
I do not like thinking that something will happen to me, my son, or my wife, but the events that have happened in the last month have brought me to this point. There is only so much I can do.
The images are so difficult to look through. As I sit here trying to find an image to place in this post, tears are forming. When I look through those images, I don’t just see a 27-year-old teacher who died saving her students by hiding them in a closet, I see my wife. I don’t see a smiling 7-year-old boy, I see my son. I don’t see the President of the United States wiping away tears, I see myself.
All I can do at this point is tell my son that I love him dearly, hold his hand until he falls asleep. I can only hold my wife closely as she falls asleep in my arms and tell her that I love her. This world has become a cruel cruel place, but it won’t keep me from raising and protecting our family to the best that I can.