In the wake of this devastating tragedy in Connecticut, I find myself most often very close to tears. I look at my children and am very thankful that they are safe, but I look beyond that and think what if it was them. I can't stop my mind from going there and the thought of losing one of my precious babies leaves me breathless. I simply cannot breathe. Tears run down my cheeks and I can feel the pain that I think I would feel if I lost them. It is absolutely overwhelming...and I cannot imagine having to go through that pain for real, for forever...
I waited all weekend to talk to my two younger kids until this morning. My oldest was met at the door by me on Friday with tears streaming down my cheeks, while I pulled her into an embrace that I am sure scared her. I explained what had happened and watched her face as the realization of what I was saying struck her. She was very strong, for me I think because I was a mess. But for Kaleb and Taylor I waited. Not knowing how to tell them of something so horrible with out losing it again, and not knowing what just the right words were. In my explanation to them of those events, I simply said that a man went into a school and took the lives of teachers and children. Taylor asked "how did he do it?" I said he had shot them. Her eyes widened and she asked "why?" This is the question I was dreading, the one that no one has an answer to. I simply said to her"I don't know baby, sometimes things happen and we just do not know why". Her heart is big and she loves everyone and she just couldn't understand how such evil could walk this earth. She asked what the children looked like. So I showed her their pictures. Kaleb wanted to see too. I pulled up the photos of those beloved souls and we looked through them together. It became very real for Kaleb as he always acts as though nothing bothers him. He saw those little faces, with their teeth missing and smiling and being silly and he knew they were real. Not just something on the news. Real kids, just like him. Taylor gasped as we passed one photo of a little girl and she said "that looks just like my friend" I told her that we didn't know these children, but that she was someones friend and that she was probably a very good friend and loved by many. After looking through the photos of those kids, by own had no more questions. They may have some later but for now they are silent.
Taking them to school today was much, much harder than I thought it would be. The incredibly long line of cars at Kalebs school reminded me that all is not right with the world. That our safety and the safety of our children is always at risk, no matter where they are. I am grateful for the police presence at my childrens schools, but I am sad and angry for why they need to be there. Normally as I wait in line to drop off my boy, I am annoyed by the "helicopter parents" that hold up the line. Watching their child walk into school, until they are out of sight. Today, I was one of those parents. Is this what the world is coming to? That we need police at an elementary school, and parents need to be reassured throughout the say that their beloveds are safe? That we have to say to our kids that should a gunman come into their school to hide and be absolutely silent and if need be, lie down on the floor and play dead. Yet for them to be safe I would tell them those things.
I am almost always close to tears since I heard of this tragedy. I cry for those lost souls, those innocent beings. I cry for them even though I did not know them. I cry because I am a parent. I am a mother.