Pretty much every morning Ben wakes up and one of us goes and gets him and he lays in bed with us while the other one gets ready. It is this precious time that means the absolute world to us.
The world is still quiet and dark. The sun is just barely peeking up and my husband can’t really form full sentences, while Ben chatters away in the grey light of the morning.
This morning, I was getting ready in the bathroom and saw the TV light flickering. Now my husband and I will probably butt heads for the rest of our lives about how much TV is appropriate for our child to consume, but even so, he does not normally turn the TV on during this time.
I grumpily opened the bathroom door and made a snide remark about the TV being on. He responded he wanted to see what was actually happening in Vegas. This is a fair thing to want to see and be informed about. But as I sit here reading the news and updates, I think about what I want my son to be exposed to as we go through the next several years and how I will shield him from all of this.
This man with an assault weapon in Vegas had interrupted our quiet morning ritual all the way in Illinois. He has completely devastated 50 families if not more as the story continues to evolve, and has altered the lives of 100’s of people forever. He has managed to make a dark mark in my little sons life even though none of us are directly affected, because now his life is marked by this event. There is this horrible incident that he may read about one day and we will say yes, that happened when you were just 4 months old. You were laying in bed with Mommy and Daddy when we were learning all about the story.
How do parents these days manage to educate their children while not simultaneously altering their entire existence permanently? There is no safe place. I cannot tell Ben that school is a safe place after Columbine or Sandyhook. I cannot tell him to not worry about going to a concert after France or Vegas. How do I explain the pre-movie warnings they now show in theaters that tell you to report any suspicious characters, thanks to Aurora, CO and how those didn’t exist when I was growing up?
How do I get back to the safety of those grey, early mornings, snuggling in bed with my husband and my son, before someone opened fire on those lives in Las Vegas?