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Why this mom draws a heart on her kids' hands every morning

In the wake of yet another mass school shooting, she shared her strategy.
Each morning, Emily Solberg draws a heart on her kids' hands.
Each morning, Emily Solberg draws a heart on her kids' hands.Emily Solberg

An Indiana mom of two small children who draws a heart on her children’s hands each day before school told TODAY Parents she wished she didn’t feel the need to share her idea on social media. 

But in the wake Monday’s mass school shooting In Uvalde, Texas that killed 21, Emily Solberg shared a photo of the heart of her daughter’s hand. 

She wrote in part, “I send her to school with a heart drawn on her hand every day so that if she ever finds herself sitting against a wall in a dark room, hugging her knees to her chest with her blonde head bent in terror, while silent tears stream down her cheeks as her class waits for an armed gunman to try the door handle against a barricade of desks . . .She will know that I love her.”

Solberg said that the hearts are “symbolic of my unending love for them, and a reminder that I am always with them, even when I can’t be there physically.”

Related: How to talk to kids about shootings

She said her message is not a political one, but rather a “visceral reminder” of the state of the world. 

“It has absolutely struck a nerve,” Solberg said of her post. The responses she said, range from people commenting they feel they’ve been “punched in the gut” to others who have broken down and cried.

Solberg thinks those reactions are important. 

“When we let our minds imagine these horrific scenarios, I think we are more likely to act to try and keep them from ever happening,” she said. 

Solberg said she’s received many messages from parents who plan to use the heart drawing on their own kids. 

“I didn’t imagine so many people would appreciate this concept, and I’m so glad to offer a small token of comfort and love,” she said. “Even if we can’t guarantee their safety, our children will always know they are so very loved.”