My fifteen year-old daughter found me reading an article about what happened in Connecticut. I knew her school had chosen to talk about it. But she asked me: Was anybody killed? As though she still didn't know that those kinds of things happen, had to be convinced that those kinds of things can happen. I felt her bewilderment and confusion. And my own sadness deepened for having to tell her the truth. She was angry. She was so angry about the gun.
Last night, as I held onto my five year-old daughter, she felt somehow more alive to me. Her skin a little warmer. Her breath a little deeper. Her laughter had more sustain. And I didn't want to let her go.
As our hearts break over the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we are looking for ways to keep our own children safe — both in body and in spirit. How do we raise children in this society where we've grown our own kind of domestic terrorism? How do we raise them to have hope and courage and to continue to care?
Brene Brown has shared a collection of resources to support children and ourselves at this link.
A few important reminders bear repeating:
- Turn off the television and the radio. The constant coverage of the tragedy is sustained trauma.
- Hold your children close to you. They need safety and information. Not more fear.
- Focus on the helpers. They are making a difference. They are always there to find.
And let's focus on the children themselves, knowing that the surest way to change course is to support the growth of new helpers of many kinds. We can choose to help by seeking strategies that support children to grow up with head and heart connected. With these strategies, we might see them grow to become the world we wish for them to have.
When I learned of the tragic events yesterday, I was working on a post celebrating a moment that held together the head and the heart of Opal School kindergartners. I will publish that one soon.