This news junkie picked a good day to tune out. Early today I was in a meeting at my daughter's high school and missed the initial reports about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It wasn't until lunch time when I came across the news via twitter, at which point I shut down my "screens," other than a phone, for the rest of the day.
Then I cried.
I cried for the families and victims in Newtown, and for the precious gifts seated across the way; my young girls, ages 5 and 2, still weary and slightly ill after a long night.
I found myself full of raw emotion, racing between anger and sorrow. The thought of a parent burying their child makes me physically ill. I would lay down my life for my kids and simply can't imagine life in Newtown, Connecticut for the parents, teachers and surviving children in the days and months ahead.
Our nation continues to witness evil, senseless violence followed by an endless effort to explain the inexplicable.
I struggled throughout the day until it hit me: Events had come full circle, as my teens were barely a year old when the Columbine shootings occurred. I realized I have yet to talk with my teens about that awful day. We will.
Life today is filled joy, laughter and, these days, the wonder of Christmas through a child's eyes. Tonight we took a trip to a Chicago neighborhood known for extravagant Christmas lights. My two-year old, ever the imitator, echoed my "holy cow" throughout the drive. After about thirty minutes my 5-year old let out a big yawn and said she was tired. I looked back at her lovely eyes glistening in the Christmas light glare and smiled. Time to go home.
Like parents everywhere, I held my girls close tonight.
And wished my arms stretched to Newtown, Connecticut.