To Connecticut, With Love

Whenever I see this sign in the subway station I think of the Harry Potter movies and Hermione's urgent voice reminding her friends that the staircases at Hogwarts change. I was always impressed by how camly everyone just accepts this fact. Yup, that staircase that you were currently climbing, en route to your nice warm common room, well now it goes to an abandoned floor with a scary monster on it instead. Good luck. If I were on my way to the 6 train and instead ended up in a dungeon fighting Lord Voldemort someone is hearing from my lawyer.

It is an interesting metaphor, this idea of the ground shifting under your feet, when the path you are on suddenly leads you somewhere other than where you had intended. It happens in life all the time. Sometimes it is a horrible train wreck, one that entirely obliterates the track in front of you so you have no choice but to climb and claw your way out of the wreckage and make your way on foot. Other times you can see the bump ahead and at least have time to grab a hold of something before being knocked on your ass. But no matter which way it happens, unexpected derailments are always a part of the journey. And we deal with them the best we can. We ride along. We survive. 

But sometimes the ground doesn't just shift, it explodes.

I started writing this post a few days ago and it was meant to be something about letting go, about not fearing change, about embracing the unexpected journey. Then today happened.

As a mother, I cannot think of a greater horror than what happened in Newtown, CT today. I do not know how you climb out of this wreckage. To be honest, I do not know how you even get up off the floor. Ever. 

Tonight, while putting Maya to bed, we had this conversation:
Maya : Mommy, why are you giving me so much love tonight. Are you sad?
Me: Yes I am a little sad tonight.
Maya: Why?
Me: I heard a sad story today.
Maya: What was it?

Me: Some kids who live in another place got hurt today. And it made me think of how much I love you and how lucky I am to have you.
Maya: I love you too, Mama.

I won't get into how I feel about guns in this country right now. (Although I am sure there will be another post coming soon on that very topic.) Or what I think of mental illness. I won't tell you how sorry, how unbelievably, gut wrenchingly sorry I am for those parents. I won't tell you about the feeling I get in my stomach whenever I think about that Kindergarten classroom. I don't have to tell you. I am sure you know.

I will tell you that I lit a candle tonight and, although I don't believe in God, in my own way I said a prayer for those families. And cried for them. And hugged my own baby extra tight.

As a writer, I usually can put my two cents in on every story. About this, I don't really know what to say. I don't know how to do this tragedy justice, to properly honor those children and to let the people of Newtown, CT know that our hearts are with them.. Thankfully, The Onion does. 

"Americans reported feelings of overwhelming disgust with whatever abhorrent bastard did this and with the world at large for ever allowing it to happen, as well as with politicians, with the NRA, and above all with their own pathetic goddamn selves, sitting in front of a fucking computer instead of doing fucking anything to help anyone—Christ, as if that were even fucking possible, as if anyone could change what happened, as if the same fucking bullshit isn’t going to keep happening again and again and fucking again before people finally decide it’s time to change the way we live...",30743/

Yeah that.

Those parents will get through this. Somehow, they will survive. But we, as a society, have to do something. Twenty children are dead. Twenty children went to school this morning and did not come home. How is anything, anything more important than preventing this?

We cannot just wait for the ground to shift, we need to move it ourselves.

Hug your kids tight tonight.
Peace and love.
And love.
And love.


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