While watching the live coverage of the manhunt/discovery/arrest of the surviving Boston Marathon suspect, the kid confessed that she was a little freaked out.
We could have changed the channel, but we used it as a teachable moment for our daughter instead. She talked about why she was scared and we listened and told her some truths that we feel she's old enough to hear.
One thing we told her is that the world is sometimes a scary place. Innocent people get hurt, and it doesn't make sense.
I told her this is why it's important to live each day to the fullest; there are no guarantees. And I also told her it's important to make sure the people in our lives know we love them; you just never know what each day might bring.
Jason told her that the week's events show one reason why we worry about her, fuss over her (and sometimes at her), want to know where she is and who she's with at all times, and get angry when she doesn't follow the rules that keep her safe. Not everyone she will encounter in life will have good intentions.
And then later, when she was going through her nighttime routine and we were alone, I shared with her what I felt was the most important thing to take away from this terrible week.
Throughout the bombing itself and in the chase and standoff that followed, we saw images of police officers, federal agents, firefighters, EMTs, and military personnel putting themselves in harm's way to protect others. They did it without hesitation. They do it every day without hesitation. Because that's their job.
"The next time you see a police officer, or a firefighter, or a soldier," I told Ainsley, "thank him or her. They risk their lives every day to keep us safe."
As soon as I said it, I realized I need to practice what I preach.
So, to those impossibly brave men and women who put their lives on the line when duty calls just so that ordinary people like me feel safe enough to sleep at night...
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And now I need to get even more serious. One of my regular readers and dear friends experienced a loss this weekend. I will protect this person's privacy, but if you're reading...my thoughts are with you and your family.