A Reminder (We take things for granted)

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Yes, I’m posting about the shooting in CT today.  If you don’t want to read it, don’t.  This is the garbage that is running through my head. 

Every morning during the week I wake up and take Noodle to Kindergarten (and daycare).  Every morning it’s the same ordeal.  I drag her cranky butt out of bed, convince her she’s not wearing her princess dress to school, and get her moving.  I brush her teeth and grumble when she doesn’t hold still as I do her hair.  I get ready while she eats, and I complain when she picks at her oatmeal or cereal because I want her to have a full belly at school.  I finally push everyone out the door and head down the street to daycare.  Noodle and I have a routine.  When I take her into class we have our “bumps”, we’ve been doing this since she was about two years old.  First a double high five, then a double fist bump.  Then we bump elbows, and then we head bump.  (For those wondering, yes, she’s made me see stars a few times :))

As a result of a couple of weeks of overtime, she spent more time in the care of her teachers, and even though overtime has tapered off, she still misses me more than usual at school.  She now wants a few extra hugs and kisses, and occasionally follows me to the door asking for another one.  This morning, I was running late.  I did our routine in a hurry, I hugged her, and when she followed me towards the door I shooed her back to her teacher.  One more kiss and I was out the door.  This morning, I felt aggravated because our routine has gotten longer.

At work today I received a text message from a friend asking me if I’ve seen the news.  I was working, so no TV for me, but I hopped online and quickly learned of the shooting.  The children.  The 20 children.  I felt numb.  Then, in an instant I felt the urge to leave.  I wanted ever so bad to go and pick up my daughter from school and just… hug her.  I wanted to hold on to her and never let go, thankful that it wasn’t her school.

I thought of how I had rushed my child into school, how I had essentially brushed off “one last hug” and hurried on my way.  The tears started welling up in my eyes.  Then it occurred to me.  More than a dozen parents out in CT, were having that same exact thought.  The difference?  Instead of leaving work, picking up their children, their GRADE SCHOOL children, and hugging them, they will never see them again.  They don’t have the option that I do, that you do, that your neighbor does.  Their child(ren) is(are) gone.

So here I sit, in front of my Christmas Tree, thinking about the Christmas Shopping I have to do tomorrow, it’s hitting home that 20 sets of parents are now not so worried about gifts.  They are trying to plan funerals in the place of a holiday dinner.  They are putting their children in the ground and wishing that they re-did a million moments in their short lives.  Instead of hanging decorations and lighting candles, they are feeling the most immense pain a human being can feel.  The loss of a child.

In human nature, when something tragic happens and we lose a loved one, we always vow not to take things for granted, to be better people.  However, no matter how hard you try, trust me, you still think you haven’t done enough.  You weren’t kind enough, you didn’t do this or that, or this.  What we should be doing is cherishing every moment we have with our children, enjoying as much as we can.  Pick our battles and smile often.  Because as 20 sets of parents figured out tonight, as millions have before, you never know what could happen and it could all be over in an instant.

I believe I’m done writing for the night.  I’m going to go snuggle my sleeping child and mourn the children who no longer live.

 

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