Last week was so busy. My kids had a snow day on Monday and that threw me for a loop. Monday is one of my super high powered work 'til I drop dont' stop to eat days. But with high high energy boys home, productivity suffers. It was my son's birthday week so the last two days of the week were over loaded with party errands, baking cakes for parties and cupcakes for the class and of course shopping. Birthday shopping and Christmas shopping. I had appointments and after school activities to shuffle them to. We all know the drill.... it's just life. By Friday, I was really tired. I even started to make a cake... threw in the mix, the butter, and 3 eggs. Next... I put the beater in and started it up. HOLD on... the eggs. They were still whole. Whole entire eggs. Slow down Momma...
I shopped for goodies all morning to make a fun albeit crazy party for my now 11 year old that night. I had been in the kitchen for nearly 3 hours putting together silly food challenges/ games/ making another cake when the random TV show in the background cut out to the Breaking news.
I watched the news unfold. Each minute it was worse.
My body grew numb. I was sick to my stomach. My frenetic motions around the kitchen came to a hault. I was paralyzed. Stuck. Life changed for me at that moment.
I have kids. I have elementary school aged kids. I have worked in schools. I have friends who are teachers. This is too close.
I had been a bit 'nervous' to host 15 boys and 1 little girl ( love her for joining these guys...!) for a birthday party. How chaotic would my home be that night?
As of 1p.m. on Monday... it no longer mattered. Bring them to my house now and let the noise ring through us. I wanted kids to surround me.
Firday afternoon, it took all I could not to pick those boys up early that day. I wanted them Home with me. I needed them. But, that would be confusing and upsetting to them. So, instead, I busied myself as best I could, washed my face and tried to gather my own emotions.
Once I finally got them back, Nick, my 8 year old said, "Mommy, WHY are you squeezing me SO hard??" He loved it. He said it with a smile and squeezed me back. Lucky lucky me...
It's the saddest thing I have ever known in my life. There have been other horrific events, of course. But I am a Mom and this is so real to me. The fact that I can picture it all... is what makes the unimaginable, imaginable. My kids practice lock downs. Do they pay attention? Can I ask them? Will it scare them? Do they do any good? Where would they go if this happened? Are their classrooms in a vulnerable spot? I hate that these thoughts are in my brain now...
None of us know the answers. None of us know how to stop this from happening. In my head, it's multi-faceted but I only know of One thing I can do.
Sure, we have guns that are way too high powered and fast for the every day citizen, there's mental illness, insanity, psychosis, and evil. There are too many medications, chemicals in our foods and environment. There are absurdly inappropriate video games that are desensitizing people from reality. We have technology everywhere that allows already introverted people to withdraw into a life behind a screen.
Who knows... that's just a bit of it right?
But what can I do? All I know is I this. I can make sure my kids know they are loved. They are awesome. They are special and they are worth every single bit of my attention. I vow to be more patient, to listen more, to always put Down what I am doing or look away from my 'screen' to hear them and answer them and talk to them. I vow to hear their concerns and to watch their behaviors. I vow to teach and show them how to be kind and thoughtful of others and to do for others as they would have done to them.I vow to give them something good to take away from every single day and Never ever let them go to bed thinking anything other than we, their parents, think they are the most incredibly awesome people on earth. That is my goal.
I vow to slow down and savor all the moments that are easy to let slip by.
You just never know.