The holiday season should be a time of joy, but this year there is much sadness in everyone’s heart.

The unthinkable tragedy in Newtown, CT is still fresh on our minds, and our hearts are breaking for all the families and friends of the victims.

It is impossible to come to terms with it and to even imagine what these people must be going through right now.  As a parent, here’s the thing that makes me sadder than anything…my kids’ reaction to the horrible tragedy.  They were both very sad about it, of course.  But the response I didn’t see was shock.  How could they not feel shock, like I do?  And then it occurred to me that, sadly, my kids have seen reports of terrible events throughout their lives.

My kids were only 6 and 5 at the time of the Columbine shootings.  Though they may not remember details of that day, I remember it all too well.  Like most parents, I was terrified to send them back to school.  Then when they were 8 and almost 7, they experienced the  horror of 9/11.  My kids were scared and wanted to know why it happened.  But I didn’t have any answers, only fears.  Then just last summer, it was more shootings, this time in Aurora, CO at a movie theater.  It made us all wonder, was anywhere safe anymore?

And last Friday it was Newtown.  My kids are now 19 and 18.  They’ve grown up seeing devastating events like this before.  I was an adult when I witnessed them, yet each one leaves me in shock all over again.  And like I said before, the saddest part for me is knowing that my kids don’t seem shocked anymore.  These awful events have been a sad reality in their lives.  I can only hope that one day my kids will see their own kids grow up in a world where events like these just aren’t a part of their lives.  I think kids need to be kids, and not be hardened by the world around them.

But despite the sadness we all feel, I hope that you will find some comfort and joy this holiday season with the ones you love.  Peace.