On the morning of Monday December 17th, Riley Price’s father walked his 9 year old son to the bus stop for the first time under the cloud of fear that had rolled in since the tragedy in Connecticut. They had spoken about the events in Newtown, so he knew Riley harbored new fears that he should never have had to worry about. Riley had asked him one night during the weekend why something so bad could happen to kids, to which he could only answer with an honest “I don’t know, son.”
That morning, the chill in the air was muted by the chill that crept up from within. He hadn’t felt a hesitation to watch his son off to school since the first day of kindergarden years before.
As the bus turned the corner and accelerated in a low rumble towards the group of children clinging to their parents legs, Riley stepped away from his father ready to climb those stairs to the start of his day. His father called his name, to ask for a hug. To say “I love you”. Maybe just to get him to turn, to look in his eyes and make sure he wasn’t scared.
Riley did turn. He looked up at his father. Blue eyes to brown. And he said “I got this.”
The walk back from the bus stop seemed much warmer.