Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the Wake of a Tragedy

I watched my three year old climb to the top of her playset today.  Not the top where the slide starts, but the tippity top...where the canvas roof is.  As she sat there, proud as can be, she called out, "Don't worry Mommy, I'm careful!"

I'm wondering if she will make it the month before she breaks an arm.

But the thing is, she is being careful.  I watch her.  She tests her limits one step at a time, then practices.  When she gets it right, when she feels confidant, she challenges herself a bit more.  Then more.  And all of a sudden she's at the top. 

It's hard as a mom to stand back and watch but I do.  Kids take risks, they get hurt, they learn.  Hopefully the hurts are not bad ones.  She is supposed to do this and I am supposed to worry about it.  It's in the job description.

Having your child killed by a random act of terrorism while cheering on thousands of people striving to achieve something to be proud of is not supposed to worry us.  It's not.

My heart aches for the families affected in Boston
My heart still aches for the children of Newtown.

Everytime I visit a city, I relive the flashbulb memory of 9/11.  Each lockdown drill I go through with my students I blink back tears.  Yesterday, I watched way too much cable news and thought about how the Macy's Parade crowd my family and I were in just a few months ago was a little bit like the Boston crowd.  Could have been us.  Could have been you.

We can't control any of this.  And we can't let it control us.

So on days when it all seems black, let's remember what we can control.
  • We can teach our children to be kind. 
  • We can help our children see things from different viewpoints and have empathy.
  • We can set boundaries and limits for our children so when they grow too big for our boundaries they can set their own.
  • We can teach our kids to make good decisions.
  • We can teach our kids to be brave.
  • We can feed our children right so they grow up healthy.
  • We can give our children the world through stories.
  • We can love our children.  Every day.


  1. Kristin, This was so wonderful,I have just one more. "We can model for our children the character traits we would love for them to develop - compassion, kindness, happiness for others blessings and calmness in the face of chaos." I think they watch way more than they listen, something I wish I had realized when my boys were young. I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to be a more mindful Grandmother than I was a young Mother.

  2. I love that! Thank you so much for sharing!