There are some issues in life that you know eventually you will have to sit down with your kids and explain. You know at some point their going to ask questions like where do babies come from, why does daddy look different than mommy or what are cus words. These are examples of normal an dhealthy development in kids and questions parents are somewhat prepared.
“Why did that man kill all those kids?, is a question that falls way beyond what any of us should ever have to answer. That question cause dissonance in our minds as adults…how can we possibly help our kids grasp and deal with such a horrific tragedy. I hated that we had to go and share the news with my baby girls!
My wife and I gathered up our kids and explained what had happened; while they were safe at school. We didn’t provide many details. We knew they would hear things from their school mates eventually and wanted to make sure they heard truth before exaggerations or false stories filled their ears. We were not overly emotional, but calmly explained what occurred. They were sad. They were not sure how to process the information and it was visibly apparent in my oldest who is entering the stages of abstract thought development.
They had one main question. Did they capture the man who did this? We explained he had been killed and is not a threat to them. But the questions was interesting. It seems deep within my oldest that there is a sense that when something bad happens the person who did it needs to be captured, or disciplined. But it was also a question behind a question…can he hurt me? My oldest was concerned because if it happened at that school maybe he would come to hers. I assured her the man could not hurt them and he was no longer a danger.
But as a father I cannot ignore the fact that there are others out there who will do harm. There is evil in our world and it is in all places, towns, and communities. That is simply the reality of a fallen world. I hate it!
So we all huddled together to pray. My prayer was for the families, and that community and our nation. My prayer then focused on our most powerful weapon against evil, our trust in a God who we know is good. Our trust in a God who said He is there. Our trust in a God is our best ally when we have no way of expelling the horrible evil in our world. Our trust in what we know about God will get us through the things we don’t know about God. I hope my girls learn this kind of trust. I hope I can too.