I haven’t had the news on lately. Mostly because I don’t want my kids to hear all about the horrific school shooting in Connecticut, but also because I don’t want to hear about it either. It makes me sad and mad all at the same time, and I feel like my head spins out of control when I start to envision the looks on those kids and teachers faces as the gunman ran through the school. I picture my own 5 ½ year old son’s face and then I break down.
Last night while I was reading to my son Chase, we were looking through a book that he recently checked out, called “Who Would Win?” It’s a book that discusses the strengths of a Komodo Dragon vs. the King Cobra. Last night we were snuggling together and having fun going over the many interesting facts about these creatures.
Chase asked questions and made comments on each page, but what he said after I read page 9, I will never forget. It said, one king cobra bite has the strength to kill an elephant- or twenty people. Chase looked up at me after I read that sentence and asked me where King Cobra’s lived. I assumed that he was just wanting me to rest him assured that Washington was not the answer but when I told him all of the places the book listed where they live he said, “Mommy, do any King Cobra’s live in Connecticut?”
He then went on to explain to me that a man killed 20 kids and teachers and the principal at a school in Connecticut. He said it so matter of factly and then moved on to the next topic. I sat there stunned while we continued our reading.
Chase is at school today. He is most likely laughing and playing with friends, not even realizing the magnitude of what just happened. He will never know the fear that I have when he is not with me or the fact that I breathe a little easier when I see him getting off of that bus every day after school. I morn for those parents who lost their children and will morn for the rest of us who will live in fear because of this incident and many more like it.
My son is 5 1/2 years old and is Kindergarten. He sleeps with a stuffed animal each night and still calls me mommy, so I was caught off guard last night of his knowledge of such a grown up matter. I’m not prepared to have such discussions with him but I know that with him now at school full time, what he hears and does when I am not with him is out of my control. I can keep the news off and limit what he hears at home but he will always know more than I think.