The Sandy Hook shooting back in December affected me. I admit it.
I understood what happened right away. I wrote about it that day, and figured I wouldn’t write about it again.
Yet, here I am.
I found myself letting my kids get away with a bit more after the shooting, like I’m sure we all did. A little bit later bedtime. A little more ice cream. A little more playtime.
Then Christmas came, and I couldn’t toss out the old toys just because new ones arrived. How could I take anything from my kids right now?
The guests left, January was quiet again, and I walked into my daughter’s room to see that I had let things go one stuffed animal too far.
She didn’t need all 40 toys on her bed each night.
My son didn’t need to stay up late reading every night.
They didn’t need to “get away” with stuff because other kids their ages died.
They needed their mom to keep them on the right track. They needed their dad to put his foot down. They needed their parents to be firm about the limits that always had been in place. They needed their routines and boundaries reinforced when they tested them. They needed to hear “No” again.
And their parents needed to know that they can show love and gratefulness and appreciation for every day they have with their kids, while also being firm about the rules and expectations of those kids.
I’ve always been good about this balance, up until the Newtown tragedy. It threw me off my game.
But I’m ready to get back on track, to take the reigns again, and, in sadness and hope, remember that I only get one chance to do right by my kids.
So here I go.