A 9-year-old boy became one of the quiet heroes of America this week in the saddest way possible. He walked into his elementary school and told teachers that his mom and sister were dead. And it only gets worse from there.
Police say they went to the boy's home and found the bodies of his mom and older sister (listed as 10 years old by some media outlets, 11 years old by others), his father alive but covered in blood, and his 4-year-old brother sitting amidst the chaos. Dad's now being investigated to determine whether he played a role in the tragedy. Guess what that means for the 9-year-old?
He's the adult in this situation ... more or less. He had the wherewithal to keep it together until he made it to school, his safe haven, and actually talked to a responsible adult. What he did was smart and pretty darn incredible. Most adults couldn't have kept calm enough to do that. And he's 9. NINE!
Now he's a 9-year-old without a mom. And with police saying there was no sign of a break-in or some intruder, things are looking pretty bad on the dad front too. That makes him, what. The "man" of the family? In what world does that make sense?
I know "they" always say kids will surprise you, but I can't help sitting here today with tears in my eyes for this little boy. He shouldn't have had to surprise people with his strength. He should be just a little boy going about his day doing little boy things. Playing LEGOs and eating candy. He shouldn't be the one who had to figure out how to escape a home of horrors and how to find a responsible adult to help his family.
He's a 9-year-old hero. But I wish he could just be a 9-year-old boy.
What would you like to do for this young man today?
Image via OliBac/Flickr