The Light

I started the day in my kids’ school.

I was there to sort chocolates.  Our annual school fundraiser involves a lot of chocolate, and that chocolate shows up and needs to divvied into orders.

(Want to see what 11 grand worth of chocolate looks like?  Here you go.)


I got to hang out with friends, eat a little chocolate, and even got to see both my babies in the hallway, and hug them.  I saw their friends, gave out some high fives.  I said hi to the teachers they’ve had over the years.

I love that school.  I feel at home there.


As I was loving, appreciating, reveling in my time at school, this was happening, at a school across the continent.


I didn’t know about it until I was driving away.  The announcer on the radio gave the barest of details, all there was available at the time.  I heard the words.  I started to realize what it was that he was actually saying.


I immediately tried to block it out.


It was too much horrible, and I greedily wanted to hold onto the seconds before I knew about it.


My brain and my body had other plans.


I started to shake.  Uncontrollably.  Within seconds, I was sobbing, and yelling “What the FUCK?” at the steering wheel.


And imagining my kids in the place of the kids in Connecticut.


I’ve always said that to be a parent is to live in a state of low grade terror.  To exist with a vital organ on the outside of your body, exposed and unprotected.


Tonight, I don’t want to argue about gun control, violence in the media, cynicism, any of it.


Tonight I am so fucking grateful for those two beautiful blonde gifts, asleep up in their rooms.  I am grateful for my warm house and the gorgeous man beside me and the twinkle of the lights on the Christmas tree.


Tonight it is all bright as hell.


7 responses to “The Light

  1. Tonight is bright. WE make it bright. WE teach our children the brightness. Bad things happen, all around us. But we are our children’s teachers. And we teach tolerance. Once we teach anything but that, it is out of our control.

  2. I think you summed up what a lot of us have been feeling over the past few days.

  3. 9/11 I didn’t cry until all of the personal stories came much later. But this, I had the same reaction. I was about to go out to lunch with my husband and I was killing 5 minutes checking Facebook. Fuck. Uncontrollable sobbing and I get it that people without kids hurt over this too but I think when you have kids it’s different. But maybe not. My husband was concerned and sad but non-emotive(and he usually is very emotional) and I asked him how can you be ok, knowing this could have been our kids, their friends, our friends…”I don’t think like that, I can’t think like that.” And I cannot NOT think like that. We don’t do Santa at our house, we do mom and dad and I wrap the gifts, they are already around the tree, the kids look each night and get excited and I can’t help thinking what if one of them was gone, what that would do to us as a family, could I handle it or would I end up a damaged mess or a bitter angry person? I have already had 2 bouts of depression, one after the birth of my last daughter and one after some serious issues with one of my parents. Even with the draw of caring for the other kids, I just don’t know that I have it in me to recover from that. I only know the smallest amount of real adult grief and it was awful and they are right when they say their is no way around it just thru it and I wanted to take pills until I didn’t have to feel anything and shut down and run away and what I went thru is a mere fraction of what these families now face. And I’m scared for all of those dads who won’t go talk to someone or mom’s already teetering whose children tether them to the earth,for siblings who cannot understand or think it may happen again, for those families that will have to not cry and then cry and cry more and yell and shake and it will take years, lifetimes and that is all ahead of them and how do you get up each day knowing you have to face it.

  4. My son is in first grade and this weekend i had to sit him down and explain to him what to do if this ever happened, it’s seemed so absurd i couldn’t even wrap my head around it, i know my parents never had to have this talk with me when i was a kid and yet here i was explaining to my son what to do if a gunman ever burst into his school, this morning as i was getting him out the door and into the car he stopped and out of the blue said I love you Dad, and his old man about burst into tears.

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