A talk I never wanted to have with my toddler.

Taken tonight. Holding her close while we watched Bambi. Her young and
innocent age leaving her oblivious to what really happened today.

Today this happened.

20 children dead in a senseless and horrific act of violence.

I don’t have to mention more detail because here it is covered everywhere. I also don’t have to mention it because it is not about me. I don’t really have to promote this post because it is not about getting my story told. It’s not about us.

However when Lilly is older, in school and learning about some of the tragedies that have unfolded in the last few decades, I want her to see the reach and level of impact that these incidents have. It is not about us, tucked away in our quiet Canadian town. But it does still affect us. As mothers, fathers and simply as humans, it breaks our hearts and turns our stomachs.

I had texted my husband when the news broke and told him to hug Lilly tightly for me.

When I got home from work several hours later, I couldn’t hide the emotion I felt when I finally got to put my arms around her. She noticed and reacted the way any toddler would.

Lilly: “You k Mommy?

Mommy: “Actually honey, Mommy is very sad today. Can I have an an extra strong hug today?

Lilly: (looking concerned and wrapping her arms around my neck) “You sad Mommy? Why you sad Mommy?

*I don’t ever want to completely shield my children from the real world, so I explained it the best I could*

Mommy: “Well, today at a school, many other kids were hurt. They got bad bobos and their Mommies and Daddies are very, very sad. I feel sad for those Mommies and Daddies.

Naturally, she didn’t understand, but hugged me tightly, gave me a kiss and told me not to be sad any more.

Tonight we watched two movies in a row while cuddling on the couch and colouring.

Tonight we ate ice cream at 8:15 pm.

Tonight I ignored likely half of the times I should have asked her to stop sucking her thumb.

Tonight bedtime moved close to 9:30 pm.

Tonight I stayed in her room twice as long, rubbing her hair and holding her hand until she was asleep. And I cried. With my head resting on the side of her bed while she slept.

Tonight I must have said I love you over 100 times. Each one counted as much as the last.

I don’t really have an ‘ideally speaking’ line to end this post. Sadly, this goes well beyond my ability to maintain an idealistic nature. I am heartbroken for the mothers and fathers who will bury their children before Christmas and there is nothing ideal to be found in any of it.

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