In less than two years I have held you tightly and cried because a select few individuals made the choice to harm people they didn't even know. I wept for the parents who would never hold their children again like I held you, I wept for the families who would never be whole and for the many lives forever altered because someone made an unforgivable choice.
Part of me was glad you are too young too ask why I was crying, or why grampy was over so early and we all watched the news instead of our usual Friday playtime. I was glad you didn't have to go to school, that neither your father or I had to go to work, because all I could do that day is keep kissing your head and holding your hand and watch the internet like a hawk for updates and acknowledgments that the people we loved were safe, and when they were still mourn for those who could not say the same.
The other part of me knew that we would have some other tragedy one day, and it would not be as simple as reading you your favorite book and turning off the TV. And I know we'll talk then, because I hope we can always talk about the things that scare you and make you sad just as the things that make you happy, but when you read about the things that happened here, now, I know there will be things I want to say.
Look beyond the men who sought to hurt and inspire fear. Look beyond them and see how the rest of humanity responds. See the people who want to help. The truth is my boyo that they are the majority, and they will prove to you why having faith in people is not a faith misplaced. They will go beyond the limits of common courtesy. Walls will drop and we cease to be anything other than fellow human beings and they will inspire you. Take that with you in the dark days, and the amount of light that we put back into the world, while it can never completely snuff the darkness, will overwhelm it.
In the days that follow, keep that light, that faith and love for the world, because wounds will be raw and all wounded creatures snap. People will say foolish things, they will look for someone or something to blame, and it is up to everyone to keep that amazing energy of hope and brotherhood. As long as we do that then those few, terrified and angry people who try to inflict themselves on the world can never succeed. We can prove the world better than they think it.
So my sweet boy, when dark days come again, and I am sad to say that they will as long as fear permeates the hearts of some, look for the helpers as Mr. Rogers says. Look for the good and don't let one speck of darkness turn your eyes and heart away from the light that is the world.
Be strong. Be kind. Be you.