Last night after I'd tucked my little angels in for the night, I heard one of them get out of bed. I went down to check, and found my darling 10 year old climbing back into bed. Why? He said he needed tissue to blow his nose. Asked if he has a cold. He says no.
So I sent little Belly upstairs to sleep in his own room, and asked GB what was wrong. He says, of course, "nothing." I took his still small hand in mine and looked him in the eye. Told him that I know him better than anyone else in the world, and I know something's wrong. Asked him to come down off his bunk bed to talk to me.
As soon as he sat down next to me he started crying. Bawling. While he let that out, I held him and rocked him, stroked his hair. Finally he takes a few deep breaths and tell me that he hears of so many murders and bad things.... then he dissolves into tears again.
My big hearted child! Concerned for the world! I hugged him tight and said that's a very big concern for such a small person, to worry about the whole world.
Then he looks up and barely squeaks, "But I'm afraid it's going to happen to me"
That made my heart stop.
I gave every reassurance I could to explain to him that he was safe. We live in a quiet neighborhood, he goes to a private school. But I have an internal disclaimer button that makes me say things like, "Yes, bad things happen. But they get reported on the news because they're rare and extreme, NOT because they're common. Just because we have 24 hour news networks doesn't mean we should WATCH the news all the time." Just last week I asked my husband if it's possible they're too sheltered being in private school. The alternative is not even an option though, because it's the polar opposite. On Friday night I took the kids out at after 9pm to catch fire flies. (We have a strict catch and release policy) and I was commenting to hubs afterwards that I'm so happy we live in a relatively quiet area, and on a nice calm street so I can do these things and not worry about anyone's safety. And even with all these precautions, my son is afraid he's going to be killed? Is THIS what our world has become?
In the end, after telling him that mom and dad will always protect him, and that he must always rely on his instincts is something doesn't feel right or makes him nervous, I gave him one last bit of advice.
"Always live your life in such a way that you're one of the good guys. Be smart, watch out, and help others. Because the good guys always win."
Some days though, I wonder about that last part.