Three days ago, an eleven year old girl was murdered approximately 3.4 miles from my house by her uncle who was high on speed. He stabbed her in the neck and chest twelve times. My husband had IM'ed me the story and we huddled together to figure out new ways to tell our girls to Be Aware Out There and to trust their instincts no matter who they are with; strangers or family. This part of my parenting job where I get to reveal that some things in life are terrible and unexplainable nauseates me no matter how important I think it is. And Husband and I talk to the girls every time there is a kidnapping or publicized murder of a child.
"Why do people do that?"
And I don't ever have a good enough answer for them, but I do my best. "The important thing is you trust yourself, here," I point to their stomachs, "any time, and I mean any time, you don't feel comfortable." I am a huge believer that kids, girls especially, need to hear this often.
I found out the uncle had stabbed the girl when she was sleeping. What gut is going to help you then? I hadn't mentioned the story to my girls until 10 year old Maya came home Friday and said a girl from her school had been murdered. I should've known she had gone to their school. I said, "Did you know her?" Maya said no, but a close friend of hers did. She proceeded to tell me all the details I already knew because the story had spread quickly at school. I asked her how she felt. And she said without 10-year old sarcasm and without a glimpse of understanding, "Why would an uncle do that?" I didn't have a good enough answer, as usual, and I could only hug her after doing my best and instruct her how to think good thoughts for the family and for the girl. And I most definitely gave her the Gut Talk again.