Normally I don’t post on weekends or do two posts in one day. Today, I had to do it. I have to get this out. I have to release it so I can let go. I have to, or else putting my baby boy on the school bus on Monday will be impossible.
I had to turn the TV off. I couldn’t watch anymore. A year ago, it would have been different. It would have been tragic – unspeakably tragic – then, but now it’s just too close. We’re talking about children at an elementary school. My boy has been in Special Needs Pre-K for just under a year – having started in March – at our local elementary school. He rides the bus. He walks the halls with his para-pro and teacher. It’s a place we’ve come to know and love and we’ve made it a home.
He’s not yet even 4 years old.
These were babies. Someone’s babies. As much as I can try to wrap my head around it, I just can’t. It defies logic. There is no sense to it. Just horror. Only horror.
By the time it hit the news, my boy was home. He only goes half-day. I’m not sure I could have resisted the urge to go get him at school if he were still there. I at least would have had to ask his Grandma – who works in the front office – to go check on him. To just reassure me that he’s okay.
Because it’s too close. Because I feel horridly thankful that it wasn’t my boy’s school. Because I want to be able to send my child on the school bus each morning and know that my child will be safe and waiting for me when I come to pick him up. Because I have to worry about too many other things – far too many other things with my sweet boy – and worrying about my boy’s safety at school…I just can’t. I really can’t.
But I will. There’s no way that I can’t now. That innocence is gone. No longer does school seem the safe haven – the bastion of childhood and growth and learning – that it once was. And no, this isn’t the first, but it is with children so young. Children so close in age to my sweet angel.
I speak of religion so very rarely here on my blog, on it’s Facebook page, or even on my own personal Facebook page, but in times like this I have to turn to prayer. Because nothing else makes sense. Because no logic will help me here. Because the only hope left is to pray and to support one another. So, in an extremely rare public show of my Catholic faith, I pray to our Blessed Mother – as she knows what it is like to lose a child and feel the joys and pains of motherhood – that she can open her arms to these sweet babies and comfort the parents across the nation, especially those who lost a child today. That she can intervene on our behalf to help heal the hearts of the grieving parents across our country tonight.
So, hug your children tighter (even if they resist, like mine will). Say that you love them over and over again (even if you don’t think they hear you and/or understand). Count your blessings tonight (even though you might have a great many challenges).
Tonight, every parent – SN or typical – is united in our grief.
My prayers, my sympathies, and my heart goes out to the families who lost a child today in CT, and to all parents who are feeling this same sense of loss as I am. We will all be holding our children a little closer tonight. ~ RM