I wasn't going to blog about this. But my Jen (I call her my Jen because she and I were due date buddies with Cam and Elizabeth, but now basically need to be next door neighbors.) wrote about it, so now I will say my piece.
I have trouble watching the news. Something awful happens, and they not only tell you about it, but they show you footage again and again and again and again. And interview the poor victims. And focus on the bad. There are rarely happy news stories. So I keep up to date by listening to NPR and reading my news, and I do it in a way that I can turn it off or stop reading when it becomes too much.
I've personally had enough bad things happen in my own life, that starting off my day listening to tragedy after tragedy seems like the wrong thing to do. I learned a long time ago that you worry about the things that you actually can do something about. I'm careful when I drive the car with the kids. I make sure they wear helmets when they ride bikes. I explain why we are careful around dogs and fires and high places. But I don't worry about the freak ways my child can get hurt or die. Because if I did, I would never leave the house. Or sleep. Or let my children's feet hit the floor.
There are 67,140 elementary schools in the USA. This horrible thing happened in one of them. Just like 2,000 babies die every year of SIDS (that was the official diagnosis for Nora.) But last year, 3,999,386 children were born. That is less that 1/4% chance that your baby with die of SIDS. But how many people have worked themselves up into a frenzy when their babies start rolling over and sleeping on their stomachs - so much so that they will wake up a sleeping baby and roll it back onto it's back? The news skews things so out of context. Makes things seems so much more common and threatening than they truly are.
And watching news on a day like Friday, listening to the horror - that just has me visualizing the horror. Bringing me right back to the worst day of my life with my husband calling 911 while I performed CPR on my 5 day old. So yes, I avoid the news. And I don't sit and talk about why it happened and how awful those families must feel because guess what. I do know how it feels. I do know how awful it feels to lose a child. It's the worst feeling in the world.
But Cece! What about gun control? And mental health!? To this I say, my politics follow my heart. Guns were designed to kill people. They are very good at achieving that goal. I don't think anyone should have a gun. Anyone. I feel that we need to treat people with kindness and love and support people who need help. If they are hungry, we should feed them. If they are sick, we should try to help them. We need to care. About people, about families, about care givers, and about animals. Love needs to prevail always.
Like Jen says, the world does go on. This morning, for the first time, Maggie was brave enough to get out of her bed and come and wake me up. I got to spend my morning cuddling in bed with my kids. We watched a little Curious George and then, like we do every day - we race to see who can get dressed the fastest.
I try to worry about the things I can change. I can make my children happy. I can feed them their favorite dinner and move the god damn elf every night so Cam and Maggie can have the joy and magic of finding it every day. I take them to a school where they feel loved and safe. I take them to a church where everyone is welcome and we start every service saying 'Love is the spirit of the church, and service is it's law. This is our great convent: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love and to help one another." I hope by living a life of joy and love, that my children will grow up to live a life where that is the focus, instead of a life of fear.
That is how I deal with this stuff. I continue to live.