When I was in junior high, a woman went on a killing spree at schools around my area. The event was horrifying, and she left her parents to live down her legacy. To be honest, I don’t know if they still live in the area, but I can tell you without a doubt that being her mom or dad had to have been a living hell. Young children were murdered by their daughter — the hate around town was palpable.

Now, with two kids of my own, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes, and today specifically, I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be Anzort Tsarnaev, the father of the Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar, 19 and Tamerlan, 26, who allegedly set off the bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday. The older son is dead, shot by the police, and the younger is on the run — and like the family in my town years ago, their father remains to take the heat.

In a phone interview with People, Anzort said, “I feel terrible! Why they kill my son? Something wrong! My sons never do bombing. They hated guns — how they do bombs?” 

Credit: Glenn DePriest/Getty Images Photo: Tamerlan Tsarnaev

I feel his pain as a parent. I can’t imagine what I would do if my sweet, innocent babies ever did anything to harm an entire nation of people, let alone were involved in hurting just one.

So part of me pities Anzort, however that’s only assuming he really didn’t know what was going on. When the whole country hates your children, you can’t exactly pull out their third grade pictures and prove they once were just happy-go-lucky children themselves. To everyone besides mom and dad, anything good they were or did before Monday doesn’t count.

I can tell you this — I have promised my kids I will love them their entire lives, regardless of their actions. Since they are only 3 and 5 years old, I explain that while I can be disappointed or angry, I’ll always love them. I think most parents would say the same.

So what could my kids do to make me stop loving them? I don’t have an answer to that. Do you?