A tiny part of me felt reassured after the Aurora theater shooting because a midnight movie showing with my kids was never a situation I'd probably find myself in.
And that somehow made me feel safer.
It's how anxious people like me cope. No judgment of parents and their choices, just how I get through the tragic events that plague our world and still leave my house every day.
A Southeast Asian vacation was never on my life list so phew safe from possible tsunami.
But today is a little more difficult, or really, a lot more, because every day I pack my kids up in the car, and most of the time I'm yelling or they're fighting or some combination of both. I get annoyed when the school door is locked when I drop them off or pick them up early, because having to knock on your own kids' school door seems wildly ridiculous until you realize that it's not at all.
The bubble I had created to keep us all safe popped today. And as much as I know life is fragile and unpredictable, reminders like this make them so palpable.
Because I've bought Christmas presents for my kids, stacked high in our dining room in huge boxes yet to be opened like everyone of those parents in Newtown did for their kids.
The stockings are hung by our chimney, waiting to be filled, then dumped with squeals of delight, sounds that the families won't ever hear again.
And every day I drop them off at school with total, absolute security, which is a pretty big deal for someone who has already thought out and prepared for all possible tragedies, like how to get out of a car that's sinking in water or talking to the kids about strangers or for 2012 "The Tricky Person" and so when the one completely mundane regular part of the day that for fuck's sake is definitely safe is suddenly, possibly unsafe, it's mind altering.
There was news that my friend Victoria's nephew was killed at the school. My other friend Catherine's nephew, unrelated to Sandy Hook, can no longer breathe on his own.
I've been trying to do better and be better, fighting marriage challenges and my own mother challenges and hormones GOD THE HORMONES and wanting so badly to not be short and overwhelmed for every other interaction with my kids.
I will not lie to you: Life has been wearing me out.
But now it just has to be different.
For too long, I've been surviving, pushing through each minute and hour to get to the end of the day for what? So I can plop my tired ass down on the couch and stare at the large television over my mantle where my kids' pretty stockings hang. And breathe.
Each day is a complete blur.
But see, I don't want to just breathe.
Tonight I celebrated Drew's "Graduation" from needing tokens for staying in his bad with his favorite meal and cupcakes. Then we all skipped around the room with the music blasting, their tiny hands in mine, our shrieks and laughter so loud and deep that we were gasping for each bit of precious air.
I want that more of this. These moments.
For me, for my kids, and for all the parents, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, and children who wish they had one more chance to laugh so hard they were struggling for air.
It's the least we all can do to honor them.