Janey wasn't enjoying the day at home. She knows when the weekend is supposed to be over, somehow, and she wasn't happy it wasn't. By afternoon she was crying most of the time, and I was tired, tired, tired. It was feeling like an endless day that was going to start an endless week. Finally I calmed her down enough to sneak onto Facebook, hoping to play some Scrabble. And then I saw the many alarming status updates, and checked the news. And the day took a dark turn.
We live within Boston city limits. When the sun shines on the Hancock building, in Copley Square where the Marathon ends, you can look down to the end of our street and see it. Although I'm certainly not a runner, the marathon is huge here. I tuned in earlier in the day for a minute, to see the winners. My mother grew up near the starting line and watched every year growing up. Freddy takes the train every day to Back Bay on his way to school, within sight of where the explosions were. I've entered the library right across from the explosion sight many, many times. It feels surreal, horribly and scarily surreal, that this has all happened here. When I was watching the endless coverage with the boys, and we heard people say they were standing with the people of Boston, we looked at each other and said "We ARE the people of Boston"
Janey of course understands nothing of what happened, besides that she wasn't able to watch what she wanted on TV for a while. I took her for a little walk to meet Tony coming home from work in the city, taking the train by all that had happened. I grabbed him and hugged him, and Janey laughed at our odd behavior.
I would never say I'm glad Janey can't understand things like terrorism. But sometimes, there is comfort in knowing that no matter how hard autism makes her life, she won't be able to truly understand human evil. She won't be like her brothers and father and myself, hearing and seeing one awful thing after another that has happened right here in our city and thinking of those who have lost life or limb. She is spared that. She knows sadness, of course, but I don't think she can understand evil.
I wish none of us had to try to understand evil.