ConsumingI was all set to write this week’s column about fun Christmas stuff. And then, Friday happened. I tried as hard as I could to think about anything else to write, but I just couldn’t do it. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is just consuming my mind.
Friday night, my husband and I headed out for some Christmas shopping and we talked about what had happened at Sandy Hook. Although it was nice to have a night out without the kiddos, it didn’t feel completely right. I felt like I should be at home squeezing on my four kids. It didn’t feel right that I was buying presents, when a town had been completely shattered.
When we got home we turned on the news and watched. Tears just rolled down my face as we listened to the news reports. My husband is a teacher. My dad was a principal. My mom a guidance counselor. I have young school age children. What happened in Newtown would be a nightmare.
I’m one of those people that puts myself in the position of those people affected. They interviewed a priest from a church who said they had to tell a little boy that his sister didn’t make it. The little boy’s response was, “Who am I going to play with now?”
In that instant, I pictured my little boy saying that about his big sister. Those words from that precious little boy just haunt me. After that, I had to go to bed because I couldn’t take any more.
Saturday morning I woke up and Jenna was watching the news! She is very much a little adult like that and it’s not unusual for her to watch the news. I had to talk to her about what happened a little sooner than I had hoped. She admitted that it kind of freaked her out.
Later that morning Jenna wanted to give us her present she had made at school. On the card she had written, “Mom and Dad I love you so much.” I just started to cry again, thinking of some card that was probably unopened that was made for a set of parents that lost a child.
Maybe it sounds terrible, but I tried to avoid the t.v. over the weekend because my heart was just aching. Sunday night after the kids went to bed Aaron turned the news back on. Again, the waterworks started as they read the names of the children and school officials that had been lost in this tragedy.
Then, my husband read a story on twitter about how one of the victims was a twin boy. His twin sister was safely in another classroom. That did it. Can you even imagine? I just can’t. I went upstairs and kissed my sleeping kiddos and said a prayer of thanks that they were safe.
Christmas is less than a week away. It seems to have taken on a whole new meaning this year. It’s not about the gifts under the tree. It’s about family. It’s about spending good quality time with your loved ones. It’s about telling them that you love them often. It’s about showing them that you love them. I’m going to do my best to keep things in perspective for the rest of the holiday season. Less stress and more hugs from my babies.
Merry Christmas dear readers, may your days be merry and bright and filled with the ones you care about the most, but that’s just the way I see it.