Claire asked me today how many more days until Christmas. I smiled at her and told her 10 days until the fun begins. She looked at the calendar and then said to me, “The 24th?” and I responded, “Yup! Good math!”
Claire turned 5 in October, thus missing the cut off for kindergarten. And because I’m a greedy, greedy woman, I kept her home with us for one more year, because in my head, she’s got the rest of her life to go to school.
Today, as we were unpacking our things from Target – cheese, milk, eggs, ketchup – I got a news alert on my phone saying that 27 people were shot in an elementary school in Connecticut. 18 of the dead were children.
I immediately looked at Claire, in her Captain America costume, running around, oblivious to the vile, hateful people out there and I just cried. Who’s to say that couldn’t someday be my kid shot? Because of someone’s unstable mental ability to see that it’s wrong. It’s wrong. It’s wrong to shoot, stab, maim, attack, hurt or otherwise be cruel to a child – or anyone for that matter.
Those kids, excited that it was Christmas in 10 days, will not get to open their gifts. They will not get to see the excitement on their parents faces as they see what Santa has left for them – the cookies eaten with nothing but crumbs remaining as evidence that that magical being exists. They won’t get to play in the snow ever again, or eat snowflakes from the air. They won’t get to hug their mom, tie their shoes or go to college.
What the fuck is wrong with people? What is in them that needs to be so awful? I’m sure there’s got to be some level of mental instability, and of course with that I argue, why does our country deny mental health treatment? Why is it the first cut and the last to treat? A pill won’t solve it. Denial surely won’t help it. When will this be recognized that it’s not just our gun laws? It’s people. Sick people. Killing children.
I am at a loss. I’m at a complete loss of what to say. How can we raise our kids to feel safe when they’re not even safe in their classrooms? How can we teach them that it won’t be them? That they’re perfectly safe in their homes, their playgrounds, their backyards?
I look at Claire. I look at her five year old body and what she’s accomplished. Her animal donation drive. Her drawings. Her spirit. I can’t imagine her to just be gone. Just like that. To have that loss, that emptiness that comes with losing a child. To know that she’d never hug me again or say something witty. I just. I just can’t.
So many beautiful little spirits were lost today. And for that I’m so very sad. So very, very sad.