It was a normal evening, full of dinner making and homework and activity. My youngest sat at the table doing a math worksheet, my oldest was practicing her flute, and my son was shooting hoops. I stood at the stove, chopping an onion for the sauce. Normal.
“Mom, what’s Sandy Hook?” my youngest asked.
I stopped chopping, grateful my back was to her and also that I had been chopping an onion. Even five years later the name of that small town in my small state brings tears to my eyes.
I inhaled, and exhaled, perhaps taking a moment too long to answer. She was probably wondering if I heard her. How could I explain this to my little girl? How could I tell her that I still remember exactly where I was sitting and where she was playing as I watched the tragedy unfold on the news? Kids, just like my own, at school, murdered.
I turned to face her, my girl blissfully unaware of the deep heartache those two words held. Sandy Hook was no longer just a small town an hour away; it was forever ingrained as a tragedy. And now my little girl wanted to know about it. Talking to my daughter about handling tragedy was not what I imagined was on our agenda for the evening.
“Where did you hear about Sandy Hook?” I asked sitting next to her.
“Someone said it at school. Something about five years since Sandy Hook.”
I had braced myself for questions about the recent shooting in Florida, but somehow bringing up Sandy Hook caught me off guard. It felt different. Not because it was any more or less tragic, but because [Read more…]