As I’m sitting here writing this blog, I am literally sick to my stomach. I want to puke. I want to scream. I want to cry. And at times, all at the same time. Over the past few hours, I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School today. As vague reports started trickling in shortly before lunchtime, it was surreal, as if watching a movie. But then as the reports began to highlight a body count, reality hit, and my heart began to sink. As a mother – as a human being - I desperately tried to understand how something so horrific could happen to so many innocent children.
My thoughts immediately turned to my own kids. I looked over to the living room, where Dude was happily munching on cucumber slices and watching his favorite Disney movie. He was still in his PJ’s, which I didn’t mind. We weren’t going anywhere today, so why not be comfy. But then my thoughts turned to Little Woman, who was only halfway through her day at the elementary school just a mile away.
Then my mind began to race: do they have any idea what has happened? Are they going to close her school early? Am I going to get a call to come pick her up? Should I just drive there myself and pull her out of school? Should I just assume her trusted teachers will take care of everything? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!
I decided to stay put, wait to see what happens. I texted my hubby, he had no clue what was going on outside of the office. I watched as the shooting reports took over social media. The thought of turning on the news on TV made me even more nauseous. Personal friends on facebook and twitter began chiming in. Hubby texted back, slowly getting caught up on the news. A sense of horror filled my gut, causing me to fight back tears. I knew that if I allowed myself to cry, I wouldn’t stop.
Don’t cry, stay strong. It will all be ok. This mantra repeated in my head…
Shortly after, my Mother-In-Law called in tears, asking if Little Woman was home from school yet. No Mom, she has another hour before she get’s home, I’ll call you as soon as she does.
Heart racing, nail biting. Don’t cry, stay strong. It will all be ok. Tara – don’t lose your shit!
At 2:30, I began pacing the front door. At 2:40, I began staring down the street towards the bus stop. And then I saw her tiny figure, growing larger.
Don’t cry, stay strong. She’s ok.
I had to quickly decide – do I allow myself to pull her into my arms and sob…or do I just welcome her like normal and move on with a regular afternoon? I choose the latter.
For those that want to tote gun control or God’s will, I’ll let you work that out in your own personal Fight Club. Right now, I want to focus on my children, who are now at home, safe. As I hope yours are as well. Never take a single day with them for granted, and kiss them uncontrollably tonight, and every night.