Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Parent's Perspective

I am often thought to be too sarcastic...rough....guarded....bordering on cold....not emotional.  People have said versions of this.  Let me tell you the truth.  These are all a front.  They are a self protective front of which I am fully self aware.  A front for a deeply emotional and sensitive girl...

And this weekend, namely yesterday, I had the wind knocked from me...leaving nothing but bottled, raw emotion. I think we are all affected watching twenty six and seven year olds lose their lives.  How can we not be? I have read arguments and debates and words about gun control....people who homeschool who are thankful their kids don't worry about this scary stuff....those talking about mental illness, incorrectly describing Asperger's syndrome.....this same number of children dying of preventable illness all over the world.... I get all of this. I do.  It is all, well most of it, worthy of conversation.  Just not today, not yesterday.   Say that I am hiding behind emotion, whatever you want.

I just can't breathe every single time I think about it.  I have seen children die.  I have held a dead child and yet tears suffocate me when I think about my own children, five and six year old boys, in schools very much like the one in Connecticut having a round of bullets emptied into their small bodies, stealing the world of their laughter and joy while in a place where they feel as safe as they do at home.

I caught myself being constantly convicted throughout the weekend at my frustrations....the not listening, talking back, fighting with each other, singing inappropriately loud in the car, stepping into yet another person's personal space....and there it went...the air from my lungs... I had to still discipline and redirect and correct but I kissed more heads and was much more patient as we attempted wrapping Christmas gifts and baked cookies and wrestled.

How do you not look at these children, all lost in minutes, not to illness or accident but merely going to school,.... how do you not see your own children...imagine the loss and devastation? If you don't have children....your friend's child, your niece or nephew, god son or god daughter?  Stop for a minute.  Stop thinking about guns.  Stop thinking about your politics.  Stop watching the news (I had to do this).  Stop and let your heart step into the grief you would have if placed in the same situation, the loss of your child, by any means really.  You can not stay there.  The whole of it swallows you and you run to your kids' bedroom and tell their sleeping bodies of your love and listen to their breath and memorize their scent because that brief descent into grief allows you to know it really may be the last just might.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Matthew 19:14


  1. I couldn't agree more, Natalie! It has totally taken my breath away too.

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