Tonawanda News

Columns

December 20, 2012

Hugging your kids is the only answer

Tonawanda News — My phone rang about 2 p.m. or so on Friday afternoon. I reached over to pick it up without even glancing at the caller ID, wrapped up in the news of the day and the usual tasks of the average Friday.

A chipper little-boy voice chirped in my ear: “Hi, Mommy! I love you!”

I am not ashamed to tell you that I lost it. I absolutely lost it. I dissolved into tears, clutching that telephone receiver, trying to reassure the confused 4-year-old on the other end of the line that really, really, Mommy was OK, everything was fine, how was school today, honey?

Everything wasn’t fine, of course. My son didn’t know that, though. His TV viewing consists of the Disney Channel, if anything, and pre-K schoolyard gossip doesn’t really revolve around the latest from CNN. He had no idea whatsoever what had happened earlier that day in Newtown, Conn., or that all that I could think of when hearing his voice was that so many families would never hear their children’s voices again.

I must have been at least a little convincing, because he eventually said goodbye, wandering off to play with his trains or look at books or color or whatever it is 4-year-old boys do in the hours after pre-K lets out. I told my husband to give him a big hug for me ... and another to the 8-year-old when he climbed off his bus in a few hours. He soberly agreed. 

I wasn’t going to write a column about Newtown, Conn. What more is there to say? What happened there on Friday is so difficult to comprehend, for the average person to wrap their brain around, that all you can really do is share bits and pieces like that and hope that other people understand.

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