The end of the school day on Friday couldn't come soon enough for me. I went a bit early just to watch the kids play their final few minutes outside before the bell. I realized, I was not alone. It was a fence lined with moms wearing sunglasses in the rain, probably to hide their tears as I was. So grateful to see my son yet mournful and a bit guilty, for those parents that day, who didn't. And won't.
The following night, my girlfriend and I sat on my couch, talked and cried about it as our kids happily played in the room next to us. Just devastating.
I haven't said anything about this tragedy to Hudson because I'm not sure it's comprehendible to a 5 year old, or that he would get out of the conversation, what I was trying to convey. When E was first injured with the brain injury, I asked our psychologist "What do I tell our son?" She said something that has stuck with me "At this age, it is not about what you SAY to them, it's how you make them FEEL."
So ever since that moment, I've tried to make my son (and now our daughter) FEEL safe, loved, heard, protected, admired, hopeful.....
Because the reality is, there are no guarantees in this life. We cannot ensure that nothing bad will ever happen to our kids. Even when our kids are adults, they will still be our kids.
As Christmas is upon us, something horrible like this puts all of the "hustle and bustle" in perspective and makes me want to say fuck the presents and wish lists.
Because by next year, your kids won't remember what you gave them, but they will remember how you made them feel.