The Things That Should Be Said

I haven’t been able to write much in the past few days. There are a few reasons for this — kids, schedules. I’m a bit stuck on where I need to take my storyline next as I’ve realized that my original plan won’t work as I’d hoped. But mostly, I’ve felt that what I’m doing is small. And the world right now, in the wake of twenty tiny people and six adults being killed at an elementary school, the world needs something more. Clearly something is broken… and I don’t think that anything I could write will fix it.

There are people writing about this, though. Some of the best things I’ve read haven’t been in the news. They’ve offered different ways to consider what has happened, pulled the pointing finger towards lots of potential causes and tried to show us why. I’m glad some people are able to believe that they can figure out why this might have happened. All I’ve been able to do is look into the faces of my little boys and feel incredible gratitude mixed with incredible guilt. This could have been my Kindergartner’s school, my preschooler’s after-school daycare. The places where I send them to feel safe to explore and learn are no safer than Sandy Hook was. And the people who surround us here are no more predictable or stable than people anywhere. This could have been my kids. And I’ve been having trouble processing that. It makes me want to keep them home, eliminate any potential interaction with anyone I haven’t pre-approved. But I know that I can’t do that. And I know that even though there are crazy people with access to weapons who would hurt my little people if they had a chance, my job as a mom is to create the safest environment I can, and to trust.

It’s not easy to trust the world to watch out for your little guys when things like this happen. But I’m trying to remember all the rules my mom passed on about raising me. I can’t rush up behind them to catch them every time they fall. And I can’t sprint over to brush them off and offer coddling hugs and kisses every time, either. Sometimes they have to pick themselves up. I can’t forbid them from climbing rocks and trees because I know they might get hurt. And I can’t keep them home with me all day every day just because the world can be an evil place that might damage them. I have to keep sending them out, my heart tucked inside them like a secret note in their pockets. And I have to believe that they will come back home. If only they were as big and strong as they think they are… heroes

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