On Monday February 27, a 17 year old boy walked into Chardon High School's cafeteria and fired shots at his fellow students. We live about a half an hour from Chardon. It is a great community, ideal for raising a family. We have relatives that attend the school district. Our prayers are with the community of Chardon. This first section was written BEFORE I had the talk.
"What should I tell my children?" a friend wrote on Facebook. Someone had the guts to say "Don't tell them." Really? You would rather your children hear on the bus that someone took a gun to a local high school and shot at other children? You want you children to be alone with their thoughts on a school bus when they hear this? I struggled to even comprehend how someone would think this was a good answer.
Many friends chimed in with suggestions and ideas. There were many thumbs ups. One commenter was an elderly woman. As I looked at her in the picture, I thought about how times were so different. Our conversations as parents have to be so different because our children are growing up in such a violent world. My children will be off of the bus in an hour. I made some brownies and we'll have a talk.
I sat and thought how to properly word my response. I prayed. I then took a few deep breaths and wrote the beginning of this post.The kids came running in and had no idea what happened.
"Have you heard anything at school today about something big that has happened?" My first question came out confused and in a weird order. I wanted to see what they knew. They had no idea. Kyle suggested that the big news was that Friday is Dr. Seuss day and they were to wear green and bring their favorite Dr. Seuss book.
I quickly got us back on track and talked about the boy with the gun. We talked about the drills they have at school and that they work. We talked about bullies and how some children don't know how to handle their bad feelings. We talked about telling someone if you hear or see threats. We talked about their safety and that their schools are safe.
And they ran off. I sat there on the couch and they were gone. They were off to play their next game. I was worried for nothing. It was a harder conversation for me to have them for them to hear. But, isn't that the beauty of childhood? They are protected from really understanding until they are mentally capable to really grasp it. I am relieved that they don't care as much as I thought they would. High school and Chardon are so far away to them. And that's OK. I had the talk. I pray there won't be more.
The Open Road
4 years ago