This post may turn into a bit of a soap box rant…consider yourself warned.
I feel sympathy for those in Boston. I was appalled at Sandy Hook Elementary. Our world will never be the same again after 9/11. These things are facts. I cannot imagine the thought process that goes through the mind of a person or organization to cause such destruction.
Some of the prevailing thoughts people speak are to hug your children closer, remember to tell your loved ones how you feel, call your parents.
I REFUSE to hug my children tighter in the wake of a tragedy. I refuse to call my parents just because of somebody else’s destruction. I refuse to watch on TV as the world gawks at the carnage.
My kids are my life…the beat in my heart, the blood in my veins. My parents did the best job raising us kids they knew how to do given the circumstances they were dealing with at the time. My parents and my children know I love them. I do not need 140+ people injured to remind them. I do not need to hug my children more than usual because 26 people are murdered.
I hug my children every chance I get, I have no idea how long I have with them, they could be taken from me today for all I know. What I do know, for a fact, is that I have shown them every ounce of love that I feel for them everyday, in every way I know how. I hold nothing back when it comes to showing them love. To suggest somebody hug their children closer tonight implies that they hold back affection for special circumstances I have no intrest in this.
In my opinion, people/parents who feel the need to hug their children closer in the wake of unspeakable terror are fullfilling their own selfish needs, not those of their children. Children need to feel secure, children need to know that Mom and Dad will do everything in their power to keep them safe. They do not need their world and the people around them to fall apart when thragedy strikes, they need those around them to be strong, supportive, productive.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t see their parents upset or cry, the exact opposite, children who see their parents express emotions freely learn that emotions are okay.
For example, when the order came for me to leave the house, I bawled “like a sissy girl” (as Boy1 told me that day). When they asked what was wrong, I simply told them Mom was sad because she had to move out and moving is hard and I would miss seeing them everyday.
We talked about change, and what it would mean for them. Never once did I tell them it was wrong, or that I was going to make sure I changed it, or that I would make it okay. I couldn’t promise them that. I could (and did) promise them that I would have regular phone contact with them, I would see them as often as I was able, that they were and always would be loved by both me and their father and that they still had permission to love both me and their father.
That is what they needed to hear. They didn’t need to hear, “You dad kicked me out and now I’m homless.” They needed to hear, “Mom has somewhere safe to stay for now and will be looking for a suitable apartment.”
So please STOP hugging your kids closer when tragedy strikes, hug them hard, hug them often…hug them for no reason at all. Never leave a doubt in their mind how you feel about them.