Why I DIDN’T Talk To My Kids About This Shooting

I felt it come across me like an ocean wave… it’s so familiar by now… the shock, the tragedy, the sadness, the senselessness of another shooting… the disgust. The wave poured over me.

When you work in a newsroom, you are the caretaker of the news… the information… and in this case… it hit very close to home in the Los Angeles area. It was wall-to-wall coverage in the newsroom.. at least twelve hours or so as the story unfolded and more today… The wave will hit again I know it.

So in the car this morning, I intentionally didn’t listen to news.  I needed a break. I wanted to keep the wave at bay. And then on a random radio station they started talking about it anyway and I flipped the station. My daughter KNEW they were talking about something bad that had happened. “What happened daddy?” “Nothing” I snapped back.  My wife said, “No, it was something. Something bad happened”. And then the wave hit again… the sadness… the disgust. How many times we’ve had this conversation with our kids over the past few years.. the past few WEEKS… bad people in the world… but good people too… and how we’ll always try to protect them. Always. How many times.

How many MORE times will we need to have that conversation.

I clarified to my daughter: “something bad DID happen… but you are safe… and we’re here… and today in your world you probably don’t need to know all about it”. For today my girls can be 7 and 10. Forgive me for taking a pass on telling them. I’ve told them so many times before. I’ve explained. I’ve reasoned. I’ve comforted. But today I was done talking and explaining. There’s no explanation. None. The weight of the world is heavy. We all feel it each and every day,  I didn’t want my kids having to bear the load today. We drove on our way listening to mindless holiday music in the car as I thought about the fourteen families who will never be the same again and so many others who were affected.

Today my kids can be kids. I’ll let the ocean wave hit ME instead.





About dadmissions

author of Dadmissions. surrounded by a wife and two girls... and a dog named Cupcake
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One Response to Why I DIDN’T Talk To My Kids About This Shooting

  1. rabbitude says:

    I’m glad you didn’t tell the girls. They need time to build up the strength to deal with this kind of horror. Being a grownup comes soon enough in this media-driven age.
    I was a news junky for, oh, something like my first 8 or 9 years in the newsroom. September 11th was probably the turning point for me. Gradually, I realized that I was becoming even more sad and cynical than my normal bent.
    Just this week, before this shooting, my husband finally realized that he can no longer watch at length without feeling powerless, sad, angry, and disheartened.

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