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Letters To Karen: Starting the Week With a Heavy Heart

Dear Karen,

April's school vacation last week was not quite what you expected.  I know you were expecting to struggle with getting work done with the children home all week and to perhaps take the children to an extra taekwondo class to make up for the many they've missed from being sick so much this past winter.  What you did not expect was to be watching news updates about the horrible events that took place on Patriot's Day at a location in Boston where you've probably walked through 30 times throughout your life.  Instead of wondering about what to do to keep the children occupied during vacation week, you were wondering how to explain the concept of terrorism to them.

You normally are so exhausted by the time you go to bed that you only get two pages into your book before you fall asleep, but for several nights you had a terrible time sleeping soundly.  You weren't crying or feeling particularly scared, but you were emotionally drained from days of feeling sad, angry, overwhelmingly patriotic, and proud.  The feelings of thankfulness that all your family and friends were safe and well, and that of nervousness when you, your husband, and children were listening to military helicopters flying over your neighborhood are what stayed with you the most.

This week, your job is to make life normal for your children again.  You cannot focus on the reason why you could not leave the house last Friday, causing them to miss taekwondo class.  You do not need your children to forget the tragedies that happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon or the events on that Thursday and Friday, but you should you must help them remember it as a time of heroism.  That is the task that has been set before you this week.