crime / death / fear / life / memory / Why?

The Questions

My son found the CNN page with profiles and photos of the victims in Newtown. He read every single one, and several he went back to. One little girl, for some reason, struck him more than the others.

An hour later he told me he was thinking about that particular girl a lot. I asked him why he thought that was. He wasn’t sure, but he said, “She seems so alive.” It was her photograph that made her seem that way.

My son is 9, by the way.

He’s had a lot of questions. Many you probably expect.

“Why did he do that to little kids?”
“Why did he hurt his mother?”
“What were the kids doing in class when he got there?”
“What do you think they were thinking when it happened?”
“Do you think any kids were absent that day?”
“One of the teachers killed was a substitute. How do you think the regular teacher feels cause she wasn’t there?”
“How did the parents feel when they were told?”
“I think if he came to my school, my classroom is too far away from the front door. He wouldn’t have time to get to our room. Don’t you think?”

Granted, he didn’t ask them in any rapid fire way. Just every so often as they occurred to him and as we talked about the shooting.

I still remember when I was a kid and heard about the shooting in a San Ysidro McDonald’s. For years and years after that, I never went into a place without checking the exits and possible hiding places. Just in case. Sometimes I still check for these things.

What news event do you remember from your childhood? Any story from the news ever have any lasting effects?

8 thoughts on “The Questions

  1. Pingback: Swaying News « An' de walls came tumblin' down

  2. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for parents to explain this madness to their child. Suffice it to say, there are no answers to insanity. To even attempt an answer is to engage in the activity of a mind that has no boundaries. I guess, children have to understand that madness exists. And by its very nature, it defies understanding.

    • I’m very conflicted about it. We want our children to be happy and safe, but what kind of adults will they be if they don’t learn that people suffer? I did try to keep the news away from my son, but he found out anyway. Now it has been a chance to talk about difficult but necessary things. I certainly don’t have many answers.

  3. I remember the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. I was eight or nine. I remember there being curfew and all that stuff, but I don’t remember asking a ton of questions. Of course, these are mostly vague memories since my parents shielded us from the news, for the most part.

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