My two youngest children were in school when the Columbine massacre happened. We lived in Colorado. The Middle Level/ High School my kids attended had participated in a track meet on the Columbine campus a week before the shooting. We’d all just been sitting there on the bleachers soaking up the Spring sunshine.
They were in school the day the massacre happened. Our school district was close enough to concern the officials, so the students were in lock-down until we, the parents could go pick our kids up. Columbine defined tragedy for them.
Thursday, upon hearing about yet another tragic shooting massacre, I called my son-in law to ask him what he would say to my granddaughters (if they asked him) about the Oregon school shooting when he picked them up from their school bus stop. (My kids moved from Colorado to Oregon after they grew up.)
I told him that they could call me and talk to me, their Momo, if they needed or wanted to. He asked what I’d said to the kids when Columbine rocked the reality of our world.
It’s not easy to talk to children about these horribly tragic things but we have to. It’s one of the toughest tasks of being a responsible parent. I’d say to my six and nine year old grandchildren just about same thing I said to their aunt and uncle in 1999. I would keep it more simple since they are younger.
“Sadly, there are some very bad people who do horrible things. But never forget, there are way more good people than bad people. There are way more people who want to help you than to hurt you. It’s our duty to be good people and help our families, friends and neighbors to be good people. Always be a helper.”
Please, let’s finally figure out how to be good people and to truly help each other!