I heard about the Connecticut shooting last Friday, just like everyone else.
I paused for a brief moment, thought about my children, then resumed my normal life.
Monday followed, and I dropped my children off at their school, where I almost hyperventilated in the car line and tears welled in my eyes out of fear- for my children.
But I hadn't cried for the Sandy Hook Children.
Not until today.
Maybe some part of me held out hope that Lanza was just a nut job and this was a crime of passion. But, "it was planned" repeated in my head. The monster planned this horrific attack.
What could make someone do something like this?
I read article after article, trying to find any nugget, any fragment of truth to this monster, then I came across it: "Lanza would spend hours in his room playing video games."
Don't jump on me, I'm not making a link to video games and murderers. I dare you to imagine how this situation would've been different had all that time he spent playing video games (alone in his room) was spent with his family. His mother. His father.
Parenting- it's not a bad word.
Am I a perfect parent? Um... NO. But do I try? Yes. Do my children play video games? Yes, but I play with them (btw, I suck and I have terrible hand/eye coordination). Do I let my kiddos watch TV? Yes, and I sit alongside them and watch it with them. I interact with them. I ask them questions about the characters.
Do I have all the time in the world? Heck no. But for my kids, I make time.
I live in a very affluent neighborhood. It is very similar to Sandy Hook, CT. I see kids by themselves all the time. Children whose parents are working 40+ hours to afford the overpriced house they bought and the lifestyle they want to keep up. But what are they trading in exchange for all of the stuff? What are their children missing?
How many other children are going to go into their parents' arsenal to try and find the love and attention they've been lacking?
Could this tragedy have been prevented? I dare say, yes.
And I dare you, as parents, to trade in your stuff for time with your children. Do you need that iPad or does your son or daughter need a hug and something simple like you asking them about their day?