|Madeleine is very excited for Santa.|
Me (coming out of a two hour nap with the baby): "This is nice, just relaxing and still being in pjs so late on a Saturday"
Matty: "You know, this is how most people spend weekends...."
Me: "Oh honey...now c'mon we have to get in the shower and get going, I need to get envelopes and I want to go to Target and I'm hungry and what are you wearing tomorrow?" (my poor husband)
|On the Boston Common.|
My mind was elsewhere. My heart was heavy. I stopped a lot just to look in on Maddie in her stroller and give her sweet, chubby cheeks kisses, to tell her I love her. I could not get the pain and sadness of the news out of my head; it was in my nightmares while I slept and in the faces of all of the parents that I walked by. Just a little nod, a little smile, a small acknowledgement that we did not lose our children, that the presents under the tree for them will be unwrapped by their little hands come Christmas morning, that the little red dress in the closet will be worn to another party, that we are not the parents in Newtown.
And yet, we are, because we are all parents, we are all people who know or love a child if we are not a parent. We are people that work with those with mental illness. We are teachers. We are people that have opinions on guns. We are all confused and saddened and wondering what to do to keep what happened Friday from happening again, to anyone.
I have a lot of opinions on why these things happen and how we might keep them from happening again and in the past I would get on my soapbox and go at it because the victims and their faces and their names, while it made me sad, it did not affect me too terribly. My career in human services, with the mentally ill and the criminal, kept me from being too soft and left me able to say that it was sad but it wasn't like I knew any of them, not like it directly affected me. But now, as a mother, as the best friend of a teacher and as someone with a career in human services who work with the mentally ill and the criminal, it has hit home. Hard.
If I was not already a co-sleeper, I would have kept Maddie snuggled up next to me every night after I turned the news off this weekend. As it was, I held her close, slept with my hand on her tummy to feel her breathe, with her cheek against mine to listen to her soft, baby snore. There was nothing I wanted more than to just hold my sweet little baby girl, to know that there is good in the world by looking at her toothy smile, to pray and pray and pray that something changes, that these stories become less frequent and that those poor, grieving parents make it through this. I just don't know how one does that, I really don't, but I hope that they feel the love of the country and that it can help in the slightest way possible to ease some of their pain.
I am not sure what is to come for any of us in the days and weeks ahead of us, but all I know is I will be holding my baby a little closer, that I will be thankful for the upcoming days off with her and my family. That Newtown, not even that far in distance will also not be far from my heart.