On Sunday, I scribbled out lesson plans for this week. Light work, since we had a couple appointments and I was trying to get back on track with the housework.
On Monday, my eleven year old noticed “RAOK” written three times on her “Weekly Duties” section. She inquired about the abbreviation and I explained that it stood for “random act of kindness”. I wanted her to try and perform three random acts of kindness during the week. Sometimes she has a hard time thinking outside of herself, and I was hoping this would give her an opportunity to feel the satisfaction one gets from helping others.
On Monday night, she set her alarm clock for 6 a.m. She wanted to wake up before her father and I, and fix us coffee. It was to be her first RAOK for the week.
This morning, I could hear her in the kitchen. She turned on the Keurig. She rattled in the utensil drawer finding a spoon for her Daddy’s yogurt. She even climbed the step stool to retrieve my medicine, to place the bottles next to my cup, so I wouldn’t forget to take it. I lay in bed smiling as she fought to put our rather large dog outside and feed her.
I was stumbling to our bathroom as our daughter turned on the television. I heard the news channel playing loudly and heard her fumble for the remote control so she could lower the volume. The only word I heard was “Boston”.
I wandered into the kitchen and through the doorway into the living room and sat down next to my favorite coffee mug. It was on a small tv tray with my medicine and some nutella bread. She came in to ask me if it was okay. “Did I do a good job, Mom?”
I smiled, and assured her it was perfect, and invited her to sit down. I wondered how much she heard, or saw, or even if she was paying attention to the screen. Did I want her to know? How would I explain? Should I just change the channel for today? How much shelter is too much? How much is not enough?
She said she was listening, but she wasn’t sure what they were talking about.
I asked her if she wanted me to explain.
So we talked. She tried to wrap her young mind around the tragedy but I could see that she just didn’t quite understand.
How could she? I’m almost 40, and I don’t understand.
I tried last night to keep the news from all of my kids. This morning, in her attempt to do something good, our oldest daughter saw a glimpse of the evil that is in our world.
It is a glimpse I cannot take back. I cannot even fathom the pain being felt in Boston today. I cannot imagine the conversations that are needing to be had today. I am praying for peace, courage, strength, answers, comfort, and healing…. for everyone.