What took place yesterday was absolutely horrific.
I was overwhelmingly sad. I was afraid. I was so angry. I felt helpless.
While driving home from work I tried to cut myself off from all of it. If I didn't listen to the radio or check Facebook or call anyone, then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't have to deal with it. I wouldn't have to be sad. I wouldn't have to be angry. I wouldn't have to be afraid. I wouldn't have to worry. I wouldn't have to see the faces of those precious, innocent babies who lost their lives.
But, I knew I couldn't do that. I couldn't pretend that something so awful didn't happen. I couldn't pretend that 20+ people didn't lose their lives.
As I sat watching the news, I cried. I sat on my couch, tissues in hand, and I cried. I cried for those babies who lost their lives. I cried for their mommas and daddies and brothers and sisters. I cried for their grandparents and aunts and uncles. I cried for the adults that lost their lives. I cried for their families. I cried for the teachers and staff and other students at Sandy Hook Elementary. I cried thinking about my own child and my own "school babies".
At school we routinely practice fire drills and tornado drills and lockdown drills. We know, or think we know, what we would do if an intruder entered our school. We hope and pray that we would have time to secure our classroom, put our children in a safe place and keep everyone out of harm's way. I am sure those teachers and other staff members hoped and prayed for the same yesterday.
The thought of returning to school is a bit overwhelming. I know there will be questions and concerns and fears. I will bring with me my own set of fears. What if something like that happened at my school? What would I do? Would I be able to secure my classroom and keep my children in a safe place? Would we all be okay? What if this happened at MK's school? Would she be okay? Would she know what to do? And then I try to remind myself that schools are safe places. Yes, bad things can happen there, but they can also happen in your own home or your local movie theater or a shopping center. Bad things can happen anywhere and at anytime. It's not about where they happen or when they happen, but what we do and how we react when those things take place.
I have definitely hugged my girl tighter in the past twenty-four hours. I have kept her closer to my side. I have stopped the things I was doing to watch cartoons with her or read her a book. I have laughed when she's spilt her milk rather than moan and groan because it's the fourth time in ten minutes that I've wiped it up. But, I want to be more like this all of the time. I want to appreciate the small things every single day, not just when something shakes up my world. I want to hug her tight every day. I want to keep her close every day. I want to give her more of me every single day because she deserves it. She deserves those things every day, not just on bad days or tough days or sad days.
My thoughts and prayers are with and will continue to be with all of those in Connecticut and Newtown and at Sandy Hook Elementary. May God hold you tight and may you feel our love and support.