Turning Outwards

Some weeks, personal annoyances and petty worries consume me.

Though I aspire to mindfulness in all things, I’m only human. Some days are simply no good, crabby, why-is-this-poltergeist-parked-on-my-doorstep sort of days. Last week was full of them. I was a trooper, let me tell you. I have the (slightly shaggy) self-styled hair cut to prove it.  Stressful though it was, the kids weathered the week fairly well. Joe and I kept a sense of humor, most of the time. And the bizarre additions to our to-do list were completed with efficiency, if not with the greatest zen harmony.

How quickly the tragedy of others can put such a petty week of minor annoyances into perspective.

I can only echo the words of others. My heart breaks for the families in Newtown, Ct.

When Little Miss, my own five-year-old, asked about my tears, I just hugged her and teased her about keeping her safe with me forever, wrapped in bubble wrap trapped in a house padded with fluffy marshmallows to protect her falls. She giggled gleefully and joined in the new game. “What if I  trip on the marshmallows and fall down the stairs?” “I’ll catch you with a trampoline.” “What if the trampoline bounces me up through the ceiling?” “I’ll line the ceiling with balloons just in case.”

“Mama, you can’t make everything everywhere safe.”

Of course she’s right. But there is an urgent need, a panicked desperate insistence that we try. We must respond to the growing list of maniacs. Hours before the horrible news came out of Connecticut, I heard this bizarre story:

A man in China attacked 22 children in an elementary school. Madness. Senseless.  But his weapon of choice was a knife. Everyone of those children survived, returning to parents who can hold, comfort, and guide them through their horrible ordeal. This wasn’t the first school knife attack either. How has China responded? Stricter knife laws.

I’d suggest addressing mental health concerns as well. As no expert on either issue, I won’t pretend I know what solutions would work.  Striking the word “automatic” from the legal weapons list instinctively feels right, but again, I know nothing.

While there is no one solution, and we certainly can’t prevent all tragedies, we can respond in practical ways that may make a difference. How can we live with ourselves as a society if we don’t.

I realize the friends and family that read my little blog don’t need to be told my opinion on this. I just needed to type it out. Maybe the tears won’t come so freely when I see the kid’s smiles and fight the urge to home school.

One thought on “Turning Outwards

  1. Right around the time we moved to Britain, Dunblane, Scotland was thrust into a similar horror as in Connecticut. But unlike the US, Great Britain took decisive, immediate action, tightening gun laws that remain to this day, and caused no uproar among the population. (They fretted more when fox hunting was being curtailed.) No place is 100% safe; all we can do is love those within our midst this day, and pray for those who need it. (And hope hearts will be moved…)

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