It's almost Monday. And Monday is a day I have been dreading ever since I picked the girls up from Kindergarten, hours after hearing of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Time went so slowly that morning as I waited for 12:30 to appear on the clock beside my bed so I could scoop my girls tightly into my arms. I just wanted to hold them, and see their bright blue eyes full of wonder and limitless imagination. I wanted to circle the wagons tight and never let anything in.
This weekend has been filled with lots of inner tears, sending my thoughts and prayers to those families far away who were grieving, watching the news when the kids weren't around, and trying to keep positive and happy while the kids were around. I am not talking about the incident with them. They are too young, it is too close to home. There is no preparing them for something so random and uncontrollable. I never want them to be afraid of their school. They need to feel safe there.
My problem is Monday. It ominously looms over my head. I will send my kids to school with more than a little apprehension. Not because I think the girls are in danger at school, I know they will be just fine. I understand that these terrible tragedies are rare. It's just that my heart doesn't understand that; It cannot understand it. This weekend has rung with all the little things that other families in Connecticut will not have- more time with their kids, with their sisters, their brothers, their families.
I've thought a lot about why it has been so hard for me to process this horrible thing that happened so far away to people I've never met before. My inner helicopter parent begs me to keep my kids under my wings at all time. To never let them out of my sight, not ever again. And then the rational part of my psyche wisely points out this same thing could happen anywhere. It could be in the aisles of Target, as we have a special dinner at In N Out. It could happen in our own home. No where is ever really safe- no matter what decisions and laws are made- this vulnerability is a constant, whether I want to hear it or not.
All I can do on a daily basis is live with hope. Hope that my children will be safe wherever and whenever I send them out into the world. Out to make friends, to learn new things, to become the social creatures we are hardwired to be.
So this is what I am choosing: to live with hope, and to someday teach my own children to do the same.