I wept as I dropped you off at school this morning.
My 6 year old kindergartener, skipping down the hall with your SpongeBob backpack as big as you are; your penguin hat in one hand, lunch box in the other.
My 7 year old sweet girl, taking off your hat as soon as you got in the door, smoothing your hair, and looking for your friends.
My 9 year old, knowing only in simple terms what happened, because I'm sure you will hear all about it in school today. If I could have escaped telling you, I would have. The knowing whisper between us don't tell your brother and sister, and I know you won't.
My 2 year old, waving good-bye to her older siblings, only thinking ahead as far as snack time and Barney and lunch.
I wish I could keep you all blissfully unaware, in your happy little bubbles of talking of Christmas presents and Christmas programs and movie nights and basketball and snow and sledding and cookies.
Every time I look at you; I can't help but think of the little lives lost, and the families who have to live without them, and I weep. I weep for the mamas and the papas whose children were stolen from them.
Someday I'll tell you how the world stopped as the news traveled; some day you will understand the heartbreak only a parent can feel; some day I will tell you exactly where I was on December 14th when I found out; and how I wept; and then I prayed; and I lit candles for the littles and prayed some more.
Someday you will find out about the big, scary, mean world. But for now; I don't want my fears to be your fears. I want you to think nothing of big and scary and mean; for all you know is hope and happy and bright and cheery and love...big love; just as it should be.