Friday, December 14, 2012
I've been thinking all afternoon about what I could write about the tragedy that has happened in Connecticut. Because I really can't just go on posting sweet treats, holiday traditions, and how to make a wreath on a budget as if this very real incident did not happen. As if that stuff really matters in the face of this.
I think that as a parent of a young child, my first instinct . . . honestly? Is to vomit. And then shudder with the senselessness of it all.
When Columbine happened, I was a high school student, and naturally put myself in the classmates who survived that act of terror. Now though, I am putting myself in the shoes of the parents. It is much more chilling place to imagine yourself.
Without a doubt, I am not expert on child loss, or even loss in general.
But I couldn't help but think about Elliot today. He was not ripped from me in the same painful way that those parents in Connecticut experienced today, but I know what it feels like to have arms that ache with an emptiness that will never go away.
Life is fleeting. We can't wrap our children in bubble wrap or keep them trapped at home. We can't hold them back in the hopes that we won't lose them.
Anything can happen at any moment.
Calming words, I know.
I'm not going to say that parenting with a full heart and living in the moment with your children is what will ultimately bring you peace (though, I kind of think it will). What I am going to say, is that teaching our children to be wise rather than fearful, cautious rather than terrified, and love their fellow man and greet them with respect rather than suspicion and contempt is one small thing we can do.
I'm saying a prayer for the parents in Connecticut tonight. All the parents. Over the next few months, as the days get darker, longer, and harder, I pray that you find small moments of peace and you hold on to them with all your might. I pray that you hold each other up and offer each other any support you can muster. I pray that you are able to search your hearts and find your inner core of strength.