I suppose this cinema-driven loss of innocence has been going on for generations. My mom still recounts my tears upon seeing Bambi's mother get shot, or my grief over the strained friendship between Tod and Copper in The Fox and the Hound.
A lot of us have a tendency to not talk about tragedy with our children. And that is only natural. We want to protect them more than anything. We want them to never feel fear. But in this digital age, children will find out about world events.
I wanted to be a mom for a long time before I became one. But I didn't know how tired I'd be. Or how angry I'd get. I had no idea that the stakes would feel so high and the losses would loom so big. Parenting is scary and painful -- it breaks your heart.
Maybe this is typical of our age. We go through a cycle of some kind of a religious upbringing, then challenge and question it in our youth, come back to it for the sake of our children as young parents and then maybe cling to it more deeply when we're faced with crisis or our own mortality.
It has been many years since my own very young son died, but we think of him often, especially on gray days like today, when he was born. We have created a living legacy to him in how we talked to our children.
Sunday night, a group of parents in my son's first grade class began emailing one another to ask if other families had decided to tell their children what happened in Newtown. Parents were worried that if they didn't tell their child, their child would hear about the tragedy at school from kids.