6:44 AM EST, December 15, 2012
I can't stop envisioning my son's first-grade class...the smiling, beautiful faces of the little kids who sit at their small desks and are happily learning to read. They are smart and curious. They love crafts, stuffed animals...and, most of all, they love school.
Children just like that...wonderful, pure souls with so much ahead of them...are gone. Just gone.
And none of us can make sense of it.
At 3pm pick-up yesterday, a police officer manned the door to our elementary school as teary parents clasped hands and expressed shock over the unimaginable events of the day. Everywhere I went, the sense of uniform grief was palpable....something I haven't really witnessed since 9/11. I wanted to see my boys, I needed to see them...to hug their growing bodies...to feel their warm skin...and smell their hair. I was so grateful when they rounded the corner and entered the cafeteria.
Yes, parents all around are feeling grief, disbelief and fear. Cold fear. How can this happen in a place that is supposed to be so safe? If this kind of carnage occurred at school, in Newtown, can it happen anytime, anywhere? Are we supposed to worry every time we pack our kids' lunch boxes, fill their folders and send them off to learn for the day? These are the questions running through our heads right now...as well as feelings of intense empathy for those parents in Newtown...the moms and dads who have been preparing for the holidays...and will now be planning funerals for their incredible children who should be at home playing with their toys, eating candy canes and baking cookies.
I can't tell you how much we feel for you.
My boys don't know what happened. I turned off the coverage once they got home...and didn't turn it back on until they were in bed. I don't know if they're going to find out...and, I'm not sure how we're going to handle it. But, like many mothers and fathers right now, we're figuring it out as we go along.
Waking up on this dark morning...I just feel like our world is changed. Everything is different. Our perception of safety will just never be the same.
Yesterday is a day that will live inside us forever...an awful, tragic reminder to embrace every moment.