Last Friday morning, along side everyone else in this country, my heart broke into twenty six pieces.
I’m not sure I have anything new to say, but as other bloggers have said, sometimes you just need to get it out.
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut can not be explained. Especially as a parent, it’s truly horrifying. These were babies. In first grade. Like my father, I can’t look at a six or seven year old child now without wanting to cry.
Every time I think I’m OK I hear another story, one more horrific than the next. How a six year old girl played dead in order to survive. How she said to her mom, “‘Mommy, I’m OK, but all of my friends are dead.”
It’s the survivors, the teachers, the students and of course the parents that stop me in my tracks.
Today I tried to watch an interview with parents who lost their little girl. It was too much. I’m ashamed to admit I had to turn it off.
Matt and I felt it was important for Ben to know about the shooting. Many of my friends with younger children are sparing their kids, (which I think is the right thing to do) but I felt my seventh grader should know. He watched the “60 Minutes” segment with us and then I asked him about the “code red” drills they have at school. He said they have them monthly and he knows what to do. At which point I grabbed my boy and told him, “Don’t be the hero. Just stay down and hide.”
When I was a kid, the only thing we had to worry about was razor blades in apples on Halloween, not swimming for 30 minutes after you ate and Russia. And in 2012 I’m giving my boy advice on how to survive a massacre at his school?!
Today Ben stayed home because he was sick and part of me was actually happy. Since when are we a country where we’re afraid to let our children go to school? What went so horribly wrong?
There needs to be some very serious gun legislation (why anyone needs an assault rifle EVER is beyond me. They should not only be illegal but confiscated) and equally serious talk about the mentally ill in our country. These people and their families need help. And they need to be able to ask for help without getting shunned and turned away. I hope that Obamacare is a step in that right direction.
I hope so too, my friend. I hope so too.
I feel so blessed these days. Blessed for my family, my health (however, I’ve now taken to eating my sadness. Weight Watchers, please turn away) and my good fortune. I never take my life for granted but especially this holiday season, these blessings are even more present than usual.
Hug your children, tell your friends you love them and please have yourself a merry little Christmas.