in less than a year, i will be starting kindergarteny, schooly stuff with my big. she is smart and funny. charming and beautiful. she loves ballet and super heroes. she can't wait for Christmas. she is a pretty typical and amazing four year old.
in nine days, 20 families will be celebrating Christmas without their little's. most of them were in kindergarten. their parents fed them breakfast, put on their backpacks, and like any other typical day, sent them off to kindergarten.
i have seen numerous tragedies like this unfold. i was in high school when columbine happened. i vividly remember having nightmares of gunmen in our school. i was a sophomore in college when 9-11 happened. i stood in the dorm, staring at the same television that everyone else was. i couldn't wrap my head around what was happening. i didn't know whether i should be afraid of more attacks. all my classes were cancelled, as were most of the other people's around me. we just sat. and watched. and prayed. and i remember the virginia tech shootings.
this, though. this plays into the fears and pains that parents feel for their children. the desire to protect them from the ugly, the horrible, and the yucky in the world. the hope to keep them innocent for as long as we can. and the belief that when we entrust them, even for a few hours, to someone else, they will come back to us the same.
there are hundreds of families tonight trying to help their small elementary aged children make light of a man coming into their school and shooting people. there are hundreds of children, too afraid to fall asleep. and their are twenty mama's and papa's who's little didn't come home today.
i don't know any of these children. this tragedy is multiple states away. but, the thing is, i can't shake the feeling that i live with what their children were like. i live with the never-ending, not that funny knock knock jokes. i hear countless poop jokes everyday. i watch a little mind unfold as it learns new things. i live with sibling rivalry, and excited to be a year older. i watch best friends developing, and look forward to slumber parties.
and tonight, i pray. i don't know what else we can do. i pray for the families of the children. i pray for the families of the adults. and i pray for the family of the gunman. all of these people are hurting tonight. and i pray that the Lord would come quickly. so that we could live in that place where there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, and every tear will be wiped from our eyes.