Last week, on Valentine’s Day, a terrible tragedy happened in Florida. I’m sure it wasn’t the only tragedy to happen that day, but it’s the one that was on my mind the most after I heard the news. Another school shooting, this time leaving 14 students and three teachers dead.
I’ve seen sources claim it was the 18th school shooting since January 1, 2018, and other sources claim that the number is exaggerated. My stance on the matter is: Who the hell cares what number on the list this school shooting was? Whether it was the first or the hundredth one, it is still one too many.
Childhood innocence eventually becomes a thing of the past. If we’re lucky, it becomes fond memories and reason for nostalgic reflection when we’re adults or the need to keep that innocence alive in our children for as long as possible.
Last week, my almost 10-year-old son asked me two innocence-ending questions. The first was about the existence of the tooth fairy. He doubted it and said he was pretty sure we put money under his pillow and took his tooth after he went to bed. Jonathan and I had already agreed to tell our kids the truth when they ask questions like that, so I told Drew the truth—that he was absolutely right in his assumptions about the tooth fairy. He thanked me for telling him the truth and moved on. I knew that more questions were coming, especially the most dreaded one about Santa.
Five days later, all hell broke loose at my house when I was asked the dreaded question. I countered Drew with a question back, asking if he really wanted to know. He claimed he did, but I was still reluctant.