I spent some time at school this morning after dropping off my girls and as I was heading out the door, I picked up a kindergarten registration packet.
When I got home, I saw the news.
A tragedy like this one isn't something we can process quickly or easily. Twenty parents kissed their children goodbye this morning, never knowing it would be for the last time.
Twenty children. Gone.
I live in a place where tragedies happen. Colorado, the home to Columbine and a movie theater and a little girl who disappeared on the way to school. The place where schools are designed in a world where massacres dictate building layouts. A place where we know and understand that as much as we try, we cannot protect our children from all the evil in the world.
And yet, when things like this happen, it's impossible to accept that evil this deep and reaching exists. Impossible.
Disbelief. Heads shaking.
I sat in the waiting room at the county clerk's office today, waiting to pick up my son's birth certificate so I can kiss him goodbye and turn him over to a school every day, when my brother sent me a message about the President's speech. The speech that I watched on my phone in the car. And I cried.
Then I drove past the school twice, wanting with everything in my being to get out of the car and scoop up my babies and take them home and keep them safe. I didn't.
I came home and twiddled my thumbs for a while.
This is what I do. This is how I process. This is how I struggle to make sense of the senseless.
At least with this most recent tragedy, there aren't people blaming the victims for watching a movie at midnight. These were the most defenseless victims possible. A classroom of kindergarteners. Five year olds. Up against a bullet-proof vest wearing masked gunman.
I wonder why when anything like this happens, people automatically start arguing about the second amendment.
This isn't the time to talk about gun control.
Today isn't the day to talk about it, but we need to.
Today is the day to mourn the loss of all those babies, the teachers, the staff members.
Today is the day to reach our arms all the way to Connecticut and hold them tight.
Today is the day to think about the birthdays and the Christmases and the milestones that will never come.
Tomorrow, we can be angry and we can argue.
Today, we are sad.
Look for the helpers.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." - Fred Rogers
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