Just Checking In

Well I had a lot planned as far as posts this month. I was was going to show how our Christmas tree is actually a “memory tree”. I took photos of my favorite Christmas gift wrapping gadget to post as a Mae’s Favorite Thing Friday item. I tried out a few new healthy recipes and was going to post one. I was going to share my family’s favorite free Christmas tradition.

But, I haven’t felt much like posting anything. There’s the obvious hustle and bustle of the holidays, but the truth is that I have been affected in a big way by the school shooting tragedy in Newtown.

I feel like I don’t want to do anything besides hang out with my kids. Nothing.

I’m not sure why this particular tragedy has me shaken to my core more than others in history, but it has. Maybe because I used to be a first-grade teacher? When I look at the photos of Ms. Soto who died saving her students, I immediately break down in tears. When I was teaching and my school would practice the “Code Red” drills, it was always such an eerie situation. Maybe it’s because my son started elementary school this year so it feels even more real to me? I really don’t know WHY. There are lots of horrible tragedies every day, and when I read the news I cry and when I go to bed I pray about them… but the Newtown situation makes me feel like my insides are all a mess and they might never get back to normal. And the logical side of me knows that tomorrow is never promised, that we could all get hit by a bus while crossing the street, blah, blah, blah. I don’t know WHY, but I’m just simply a mess right now.

If there is anything good to come of Newtown, on a personal level for me, I feel like it has TRULY made me more cognizant of being in the moment with my kiddos as well as responding to their (constant) needs & requests in a way that is kinder, calmer, and more purposeful. I’m not really a “yeller” to begin with, but I do find myself answering a lot more often with a “sure” instead of a “not right now” and I am also less inclined to fall into my bad habit of sarcasm. As a mother I am still so wholly imperfect, but these are the good outcomes. It’s so sad they came at the huge loss of other mothers just like me.

I want a rewind button. I want to rewind time for all those other moms. I want it all to go away.

But it can’t. So, I’ll cry a little more when I think about or read about Newtown. I’ll pray a little more. Play a little more. Hug and kiss and read and laugh and snuggle and do all the good stuff a little more.

Thanks for reading my blog, thanks for commenting about the posts that you relate to, thanks for letting me know about the changes you -like me- are making with your families, and thanks for letting me share some sadness too.

I’m off to watch my precious babies sleep a bit before I head to bed. G’night! ~Mae

2 thoughts on “Just Checking In

  1. I can’t get past this either. I was a freshman in high school when the shooting at Columbine happened. It hit us hard and it was hard to go to school after that and not wonder “what if?!” I was out of college just a few months when the Virginia Tech massacre happened. It took me months to get past envisioning my classrooms and lecture halls and thinking about what I would do if someone came in and shot at us. There are shootings at malls, walmarts, movie theaters, it can happen anywhere, but an elementary school is just hard to fathom. I can’t envision it, I can’t picture what I’d do, maybe it’s because I don’t want to. As a high school or college student you can make sense of what’s happening in front of you, but as a six year old you can’t. As a preschool teacher we never had drills aside from tornado drills. I don’t know what I’d do. Thank God for those teachers for saving the kids they could. My heart breaks every single day when I listen to my daughter’s voice and I know so many parents don’t get to. Paige’s school is across the parking lot from an elementary school and Sandy Hook crosses my mind every time I drop her off and drive past it, and probably will for a long time. I eventually could wrap my mind around Columbine and VT but I think as a parent and pre k teacher I will never be able to brush this tragedy aside, I will never forget the pit in my stomach watching the coverage on tv, I will never get to drop my kid off at school and not wonder “what if.”

    • Totally. Makes me want to stay home and become a hermit with my kids. Clearly, that’s not logical, but I’m not going to pretend I haven’t thought that!

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