There’s a catch in my throat that won’t go away. It’s as if my body is currently set to the default of Ready To Cry. I laugh a little more loudly than I should at things that are funny… or are trying to be funny. I laugh at every silly thing my daughters say and do, even if it annoyed me before Friday. Laughter sounds and feels strange to me, right now. It feels out of place. It feels wrong.
Today it’s a drizzly, freezing cold day. It actually feels like the weary world is weeping to remind us to slow down for a while.
At the same time, I know that for my children I need to keep my smile. I can’t hide it or be stingy with it. I can’t jealously guard my children and tuck them away from the world. I can’t let my anxiety get the best of me. I need to show them that even if we don’t feel especially happy right now, we can still feel joy and anticipate happiness in the near future again. Maybe even now. But then again, I have that luxury. I can pick up my eldest daughter from school and get my other two daughters off the bus. There’s no one to tell me that I can’t take them home ever again.
As a human being, Sandy Hook weighs heavily on my heart.
As a mother to a seven year old, Sandy Hook has decimated my heart.
All too easily, I can imagine being a Mother of Sandy Hook. The children there are children of Connecticut… of the nation. The women who gave their lives that day are heroes, every single one of them. They gave their lives for every child that attended their school, giving them precious moments to try to get away. Those women could easily have been my own daughters’ teachers, who show my children care and love and compassion every single day.
And so as I sit here this evening, writing this entry after a very somber work day, I watch my children watching TV with their dad. I watch one of my daughters putting together a new game she received as a Christmas gift over the weekend. They should all be doing homework. I should be on top of them, nagging their butts to get going and finish so that they have the entire night after supper to relax. To be honest, I won’t feel guilty if they don’t finish it tonight. I’ll feel guilty if I force it by going into bitch mode. At the Christmas party over the weekend, I didn’t make sure that they ate a good supper before filling up on cupcakes, chocolate, cookies, and chips. For breakfast yesterday I let them have reindeer ornament “pops” that we made (look it up on Youtube or Pinterest; marshmallows, chocolate, pretzels).
Don’t worry. The sugary part of my current parenting won’t last the week. Okay, fine, and neither will the “not forcing the homework” part. I’ll make sure that I half-heartedly encourage them to do it tonight. And tomorrow. But I won’t enjoy it. For now, I’m going to parent irresponsibly.