I was in the middle of trying to get a couple posts together. Mr Punk was making it very difficult by climbing all over me. I eventually gave up and turned the computer off and did come housecleaning instead. When he went down for his nap I turned it back on, and all thoughts of writing vanished from my head as I read the first headline, and I am still struggling to pick up my writing where I left off.
Another shooting. In what is supposed to be a safe place. An elementary school.
How many children dead? How many more traumatized?
I cried. I counted the minutes until it was time to pick up my 5 year old from the bus stop. I wanted to crawl under the blankets. I wanted to move away from society and become a hermit. I wondered why I had brought children into a world where people have easier access to guns than to mental health care.
It was a relief to head off to my evening shift, to be forced to keep busy and focus my attention to something else. Life went on as normal for us this weekend. We ate, we cleaned house, I worked my shifts, we made gingerbread and did a little Christmas shopping. I tried not to think about all my fears about school. And on monday, I helped my little Ms Action get ready for the bus as usual.
I could write about grief. I could write about what needs to change. I could write about how all my fears about sending my kid to school have bubbled to the surface once again. I could write about how religious groups have already tried to blame everything for this tragedy, from birth control to not teaching the bible in public schools. I could write about how progress can feel so hopeless sometimes when there are so many out there who are more worried about their access to firearms than the safety of small children. I could write about I could write about how I still feel like crying, even though this tragedy happened on the other side of the country and did not directly affect anyone I know.
But I’m not the one who lost a gap-toothed kindergartener forever. I’m not the one who has to somehow make it through a funeral this week. I’m not the one who has Christmas presents hidden in my closet for a child who is no longer there to rip them open in excitement. I’m not the one who has to find the stray socks and missing library books left behind for months into the future.
For them, we need to ask why.
For those people, for those parents who have lost so much. We must take action.