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Nightmares

After watching the horror of what happened in CT all weekend, I kept my son home from school on Monday.  It just felt better having him here with me.  He's been having trouble sleeping and even though I made the decision to keep him home well before he woke up with a nightmare Sunday night, I told myself he needed the extra day off to get some extra rest.  The truth was I just wanted him close by.  I wasn't ready to drop him off and watch him walk out of sight.
Over the weekend he woke up at least once a night crying and asking me to stay with him.  On Sunday, he called me in and said, 'I can't sleep, Mommy.  Please stay next to me.'  After I finally got him back to sleep, I said to my husband, 'I hope he didn't catch any of it on TV'.
We made every effort to turn it off any time any mention of it came on when he was in the room, but when it first happened, he was there as we saw the children being brought out of the school.  As soon as I realized what it was we were seeing, I started to cry and urged my husband to turn it off before our son could catch on to what was happening.
Monday night, I asked my son why he was having trouble sleeping.  He said, 'I don't want to talk about it.'  I told him that sometimes it helps to talk about it.  We were laying in his bed at bedtime for our nightly cuddle time.  He laid there quietly for a minute and said, 'I just don't understand why they couldn't hold on.'  He said it in a timid way and I could tell he was upset.  I was confused and said, 'Who Baby?'
'The kids on the TV.  There was a boat accident.  The kids died.  I just don't understand why they couldn't hold on.'  My heart broke as it clicked in my mind what he was talking about.
In July, during our trip to NJ, there was a boat accident and some kids died.  We heard it on the news.  I knew my best friend was going out on her boat with her kids the day it happened.  We were in the car when we heard it.  My son was in the back seat.  He had just turned four.  I called my friend to make sure everything was okay.  They were all fine. Her daughter was sick and the trip was cancelled.  I told her what had happened and said how how relieved I was to hear they were okay.  When I hung up, my son said, 'Daddy can we talk about what Mommy just said on the phone?'  He was crying.  I felt awful.  I didn't think about him hearing it.  He was so young.  I just didn't think he'd understand.  He did.  We had a talk that day and we told him that sometimes bad things happened, but Mommy and Daddy would always be there to keep him safe.
Over this past weekend he must of seen the children's pictures on TV and caught on that they died.  In his four year old head, he must think that if a child dies, there must be a boat accident.  As heart breaking as that must be for him, I have to say it's a hell of a lot better than the truth would be.  I'm so grateful that he doesn't know the horrible truth.  I'd much rather comfort him over a boat accident than have him know there is true evil in the world.

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