Tess turned 9 months old today. We’ve been enjoying Christmas carols, holiday parties and Tess’ advent calendar tradition from Kat and Spencer. All of this is joyful and family-oriented; and yet, my heart feels leaden. The mass shootings we’ve experienced in last few years, the number of children and innocents slaughtered, the horrible timing of this latest personal explosion by a young man who was clearly suffering from something massive and lurking – all of it has stripped our first December with Tess of some of its luster.
This’ll sound foolish, but as a mom I reacted very differently to yesterday’s news than I have to previous instances, and I’ve taken all of them hard. Still, we’ve always looked forward to Tess going to school: the tiny backpack, pigtails, a giant smile, maybe a school bus. How can those innocent memories of ours and hopes for her now be informed by this huge fear that she won’t be safe? It’s grade school, for god’s sake! A lot of rhetoric is being thrown around, and I just can’t quite participate. All I can say is, guns don’t belong in schools, metal detectors don’t belong in schools, locked doors and sirens and death do not belong in schools. We are doing something wrong. Tess is so small, and I like to think that, while she’s growing before our eyes, we can make this better before its her turn to walk through those elementary school doors for the first time.
This is not a happy Christmas post, and I apologize. As I sit here quietly after Tess’ breakfast and playtime, the juxtaposition of carols and news updates made me sick to my stomach, and I had to write about it. I am not opening the blog up to political rhetoric and the gun control debate, so please save those comments for a different arena. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we as parents can survive this and prevent this. I’d also like to applaud us for the massive surge in grief and love that started washing over affected families before the news was even clear. Our unlimited capacity to love, protect and communally mourn highlights our humanity and makes me proud. I don’t know how quickly I can or should shake my response to this event, but I am grateful that we are united in our respect and prayers for that community, which now has a lifetime of grief to overcome.
On a sillier note, Dave and I finally settled on and bought a car today! The mom mobile looks like I took my cute car and stretched it out another foot. It’s kid-friendly, fun to drive, loaded with safety options and is ready for baby deuce. Tess seemed right at home! She also had many fans at the dealership, which kept her quite entertained. no stranger danger for her! Dave’s car will be back tomorrow and then we can go back to fussing out banal issues like groceries and deadlines. Who knew I’d ever look forward to that?!