I cried myself to sleep last night thinking about those poor families, and those precious children. I've cried today and felt on the verge of tears many other times--I just can't shake it. I had to go to the commissary this morning, and I felt raw--like here I was, running totally mundane errands, when the mothers of those children most likely can't get out of bed. I was looking at the other shoppers for hints of their sadness, and I felt an overwhelming urge to be kind to everyone. I wondered if I had the word "MOM" stamped on my forehead, if people would see me and know that because I'm a mom, my heart is broken today. I saw the little kids that other shoppers had brought with them, heard a parent yelling at her two kids because they were messing with the cart and blocking the aisle, and wondered if those Newtown parents had similar (totally normal) moments of parental exasperation that now fill them with regret. The commissary was playing Christmas carols over the sound system, and I felt festivity out of my reach today. Then, over the noise in the store, I heard the chords of "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" and this lyric played loud and clear:
"A very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear."Without any fear. I just don't know how I can not be fearful as a parent, and never has that felt so acute as it does right now. So many things we take for granted with our sweet kiddos--that they'll grow up, that they'll live a full life, that they will fulfill their potential. Abby's dance teacher sent me an email today saying that Abby is "such a good girl and a great little dancer," and that I will be amazed at how she grows as a dancer over the next few years if she sticks with it. I told Dan about her thoughtful email, and Dan speculated that maybe Abby will grow up to be a famous ballerina (her current dream), or maybe she'll be an artist since she loves to draw. I immediately felt guilty for contemplating a future for our girl, because other parents had that ability stolen from them--they had so many hopes and dreams for their little ones as well. It just tears me apart inside.
I know this feeling won't last for me--I'll eventually revert to my normal flustered parenting style with plenty of yelling and time outs, but today, I just hugged Abby, Jake, and Alex as many times as they would let me, and told them over and over again how much I love them, and how special and wonderful they are. I have the luxury of a life unshattered tonight, and of having this sadness fade over time--that community has no such luxuries. I owe it to them to love my babies as fiercely as possible for as long as I'm given.
|the loves of my life|