Friday the news broke that the body they found was indeed the body of the missing little girl. Friday my son spent the night at a friends house. Friday the friend's mom told my son that the girl had been found. Friday she told him that the body had been dismembered. Saturday I had to pick up the pieces of a very broken little boy.
Wouldn't you think that maybe it isn't ok to tell other people's kids big news like that? Or maybe send me a text if he was asking questions to ask if I minded if she talked to him about it? Or at minimum, TELL ME that she talked to him so that I know what he knows so I have a starting point when he breaks down in my arms?
We believe that our kids should hear from us whenever possible the things they need to know. We tell our kids hard things because we want to be able to help them process their emotions in a safe place. We would have talked about this with him. We talked to our kids about the theater shooting. We talked about the little girl being missing and the reasons we have certain outside rules in place. We talk about sex and answer uncomfortable questions. We answer all of their questions when we are asked, even if the answer, like this time, is "I don't know. I don't understand either."
Maybe that is why it made me angry that someone else handled it. I know it will get talked about at school. My son is in the same age range as the little girl was. He and his friends have been talking about it. I just wanted him to hear the big part from me and dad. I wanted him to be in a safe place that he could completely loose his temper and punch his pillow and scream and cry and do all of the things that he did when he got home to the safety of his room. I wanted to be there to hold him when he asked through his sobs why someone would do that.
This morning I asked his little brother what they talk about at school. He told me at lunch that they talk about the bad guy who broke into the theater. He told me they talk about the missing girl. I told him the missing girl was found, that someone had hurt her, that someone had killed her. He asked me why that person would steal her if they were just going to kill her. I told him I don't know. He doesn't have the same details that his big brother has. He doesn't need the same details that his big brother has. But he knows that he can ask us questions if he has them. He knows home is a safe place to feel what you need to feel. But it isn't affecting him in the same way as it is affecting his brother.
This parenting stuff is hard. Helping my kids to feel the emotions that they need to feel and to walk alongside of them as they process is important. It is also hard. I understand why some parents choose to not talk to their kids about issues. It is painful. It hurts to see pieces of your child's innocence taken away. It is a very helpless kind of feeling to have your son break down into gut wrenching sobs in your arms and know that you can't make it better. It is very humbling to have no words of comfort and to only be able to pray that the Lord will bring us His comfort.