Love and Heartbreak. For Newtown.December 16, 2012 at 10:25 am | Posted in Heartbreak, My life | 6 Comments
Our mornings before daycare dropoff are often full of stress and tears.
And yelling. And where I’ve been working on figuring out how to use my Calm Words, as Lucky refers to them, it’s not easy for me. And I slip, especially when I am in my Stressed Place – when I have a deadline and need to get to Boston so that I can get my work done before a review, for example.
Friday, since Charlie was home, I skipped the morning routine altogether. I left early, while Lucky was sleeping. I had the building to myself when I got to work. I couldn’t make his daycare Christmas show, but Charlie told me not to worry, Lucky said he understood that Mommy was busy at work and that we’d have the weekend to spend together.
And then I read about the Newtown school shooting. And all of a sudden, the stress of work and the holidays didn’t matter. My arms ached for my son.
I spent the rest of the day alteratively reading the news, becoming more and more emotional, and doing my work, fighting the urge to run screaming to daycare, so I could see him and hold him. I finally gave in at 3, and spent most of my commute listening to NPR, on the verge of tears.
I was so angry, at first. How can someone with a alleged personality disorder get three guns, one of which was semi-automatic, and body armor and ammunition? Why wasn’t he helped beforehand? Why don’t businesses who SELL ammunition and armor submit their lists to the government? Something like this takes planning, and foresight, and someone, SOMEONE should have known.
I had to remind myself: Compassion, Serenity. Compassion. I don’t KNOW the killer. I don’t know what happened in his mind that made him kill all those people, including his mother.
And my heart aches, deeply, for those parents and children. All those innocent children. Those poor souls.
When I got to Lucky’s classroom, he didn’t even look up from the book his teacher was reading. But I stood there, and watched him, and thanked the universe.
And when the story was over, he ran to me, yelling, Mommy! and hugged me.
I can see what’s going to happen, in the coming days: we’re going to yell at each other about gun control and mental health. Both sides are going to stay stuck in their beliefs: that guns kill people and aren’t needed, that guns don’t kill people, PEOPLE kill people, that someone who would do this is an outlier and we can’t prevent it, that this has happened 33 times since Columbine, that we need to further safeguard our children from people by locking down schools, using metal detectors, and staffing with local police, that it wouldn’t have mattered because the alleged suspect was dressed head to toe in body armor and forced his way into the school.
Overnight on Friday night, I was up for many hours, grieving for those children. And trying to wrap my brain around the whole thing.
And I am seriously disturbed by the Facebook conversations I’ve seen.
People are so busy yelling at each other about whether it SHOULD be a right to carry arms that they’re missing something. Fine, own your gun, but there should be safeguards over AMMUNITION. Why aren’t there regulations over ammunition, and body armor, and stuff that a normal civilian who wants to use his gun for whatever people do with guns never buy? Why can’t we establish laws over that?
And what kind of fucked up world do we live in, when people keep defending the right of owning a piece of equipment which just killed 20 children, yet vote against something like gay marriage, which adds more love to the world?
Seriously fucked up.
And all I can think about right now is COMPASSION.
Compassion for PEOPLE – connecting to the person you see on the street, the kid who hangs back in class. Teaching our children that we are all responsible for other people, for listening, for remembering that the person on the bus next to them is part of this world, too.
I am fortunate in that my son doesn’t yet ask about current events. But that time is coming. And I think the only lesson I can take out of this is that we need to start early teaching our children how to care for one another. To reach out and connect with people, instead of sitting back, judging them, and screaming about how wrong they are. Start putting love out there and hope that it catches on.
And I am holding Newtown in my heart and grieving with them. And hugging my Lucky a little more tightly this weekend.