In my effort to blog regularly I had a whole bunch of christmas stuff that I wanted to talk about - neat ornaments that have been on my tree for 30 years, holiday traditions that I want to pass on to Charlie, thoughts about how we're going to teach him about the different religions and philosophies and beliefs - and how they're all equally valid and important.
But somehow, none of that seems to matter anymore. I don't want to talk about the awful tragedy that happened last Friday, but the blog post that I had written that day just didn't seem relevant anymore. And every time I logged on this weekend, all I could think about was how there was nothing that I, or any other random face on the internet, could say or type that could possibly begin to make sense out of any of this.
I don't want to talk about how vividly I can still remember the first high school shooting that happened in 1999, just as I was about to graduate from high school. I don't want to talk about how, as an adjunct instructor, I spent the entirety of a three-hour-long night class talking about the hows and the potential whys and the history and the relevant sociological theories after the big shooting on a college campus. I especially don't want to talk about the most recent event - how young and innocent these kids were, how they had their whole lives ahead of them, and how my own son is just about that age. I don't want to talk about how I look at him and can't help but think that this could happen anywhere, to any kid, and that I'm so incredibly lucky and thankful that it didn't happen here, to my own, or to anyone that I know. I want to bury my head in the sand and turn off the news and pretend that these things don't happen and certainly can't happen here, but I know that I can't. There are big discussions that need to happen - things that we clearly need to fix, as a society - questions to ask and solutions to find so that we can limit the chances of things like this happening again.
And while over the weekend I found myself wishing that I could be comforted by the idea of god and heaven and all that jazz, at the end of the day I still think "but even I believed that there WAS that god that so many are able to take comfort in, would I really want to believe in such a god that would allow this to happen?"
I know that everyone is grieving for those kids, but as a parent, my heart literally hurts when I think about it - I can't imagine how one goes on after that. So while society continues to unproductively divide itself on issues of gun control and interpretations of the second amendment, I will continue to be thankful that even when I'm stuck in awful traffic during a downpour on the highway with nothing to listen to on the radio that doesn't bring me to tears because of the coverage, I can look in my rearview mirror and see my own child through those tears, safely napping in his carseat after school.