Earlier today I found myself reading a story about a man in Florida who was arrested after he threw his five-year-old daughter off of a bridge to her death. The police officers who approached him as he did it said they thought they heard screaming as if the girl was still alive. I read this story, of course, after reading about the massacre in Paris at the hands of Islamic extremists of twelve people at a satirical magazine publication.
Reading about the father killing his child for no reason got me to thinking about the fact that this type of occurrence, while horrific, is becoming more and more commonplace. Maybe not commonplace, but more pervasive. Every day we hear about children dying from needless violence, so many times at the hands of their own parents, the people they are supposed to trust. To love. On top of that we hear about shooting after shooting at schools. Anytime I hear a story about a child dying from a situation similar to this young girl I come back to Newton, Connecticut. All of those children just murdered. Why?
So you can see my mind was going into happy places full of rainbows and ponies, right? But isn't that the point? The world is not all rainbows and ponies, and I am not sure if it is me, but it seems to just be getting worse and worse each year. What we thought was horrific and unthinkable last time pales in comparison to the newest tragedy. We are almost becoming conditioned to it in a way.
I remember when I picked my little one up from daycare the day of Newtown. She was still in the infant room, just happy and jumping in the room's bouncer. So happy and full of innocence. She had no idea of any of the evil that those twenty children faced that day. I wanted to hug her and protect her, tell her I would keep the bad guys away always. She is too young now to know what is going on in the news but as she gets older and hears these things, knowing my child and her inquisitiveness she will ask "why?" "Why did this happen?"
I won't be able to give her a good explanation. What do I say? There are bad people out there? Do I tell her that none of those things will ever happen to her? I could and likely will tell her that, but I can't promise it. I want to. I want to do everything in my power to keep her in that little bubble she is in now where she think everyone is her friend and is a nice person. She is not yet three, so I still have that time. It just is not that much time.
What I will say is I will do everything in my power to protect you from what I can because I love you and always will. I just hope that is enough.