Wasn’t it just a few months ago that I was assuring my children they would be safe, and bad things like the Newtown shooting were really, really rare? That they shouldn’t be scared because that would never happen to them?
Yet there I was on Monday, witnessing my 8-year old Georgia watch with wide-eyed horror as the news reported that a little boy was among those killed at the Boston Marathon Finish Line.
While I am hardly an expert when it comes to grief counseling, I had been fortunate to find this on Facebook…my friend and children’s book author Peter Reynolds had posted it shortly after the explosions:
I sat Georgia down and asked her if she wanted to talk about it. “This is the worst month of my life. Everyone is dying. Did you know that an 8-year old boy DIED?”
I knew that I couldn’t use the same line I did after Sandy Hook, as she was already beginning to doubt her own safety. After all, she had stood at that very spot just two years ago to cheer on her own Father as he crossed the finish line. I thought about Peter’s post and simply told her:
“There are some bad people in this world, and sometimes they do bad things. But there are SO MANY more good people, and that’s something you need to remember. Do you know what happens when those bad people try to scare everyone? The good people get stronger. They help one another. They become braver. And in the end, the bad people lose. Remember, good will ALWAYS triumph over evil.”
I don’t know if it was the right thing to say or even if she believes it, but I know that I certainly do. I feel scared, definitely. Scared that something terrible could happen again in my city. Scared that my kids will always be looking over their shoulder. Scared that they will wonder, ”Will it happen to ME today?”
But more than scared, I feel proud. Proud of the good people that are on my side. Thankful that Boston is made up of so many heroes and so few victims. And of course, grateful that my family is safe and happy thanks to those brave men and women that keep them that way.
In the end, all we can do is hug our loved ones and do our best to raise them to be good guys. After all, what kid wouldn’t want to grow up to be on the winning team?