I thought about what happened on Friday in Newtown a lot over the weekend. It hit me hard, as it did every parent in America. I am often affected by what I read in the news, but I’ve never had to close my office door so I could cry like I did with this story. I thought about it a lot and I read about it a lot. My husband asked me why I kept clicking stories. I read comments that accused those wanting to know the details of the day and the victims of sensationalizing it, turning it into entertainment. I don’t think that’s true though. I think a part of me thought and still thinks that the more knowledge we have, the more sense we can make of it. Maybe if I know what happened and how old these children were I can understand it. I can prevent it from happening to my own baby. Knowledge gives me the illusion of control in an uncontrollable situation. Every day I drop Evie off at daycare like so many others drop their kids off with nannies, teachers, relatives and we have to go about our day trusting that they will be ok. That we will see them again. That there won’t be a car accident, a fire, a gunman. I think that parents live with a constant fear that something could happen to harm or hurt our children and the hardest thing we do as parents is trust that our kids will be ok. Because if we let that fear rule us we wouldn’t ever put our kids down. They’d never learn to walk, to run, to explore. I think if I have a point it’s just that terrible things can happen, and sometimes they do. But we have to live, to have to faith.
I feel like a lot has been said and written already about this tragedy and I’m sure the internet doesn’t need my words on the matter too. But, I just wanted to say something, I needed to so that it’s not bottled up in my heart and the pit of my stomach. I want to echo President Obama’s sentiment, “You are not alone”. I cannot stand that this happened and that none of us can change it. What we can change a little bit is how we live our own lives. What we can do is live our lives. Really live them. Take the vacation, drink the good stuff, use the fancy glasses, play one more round. In twenty years you won’t remember the money you spent, the extra $10 here or there. What you will remember is the experience, the time with your family. We’ll still take our spouses and children for granted at times, it’s human nature and it will happen. As long as we make an effort to make the small moments count, to participate, to enjoy, then there will be little to regret.
Evie has been doing a lot of new things lately. She’s scooting like a mad woman trying desperately to properly crawl. She waves at everyone and everything. She’s trying to stand and has figured out that she can pull herself up to look over the back of the couch. She hits blocks together and pulls the plug out of the bath tub. She does these amazing things with a smirk and a smile on her face. I take a lot of photos of my daughter. There are no photos of this. I was too busy enjoying the moments. I hope you will be too.