As a mother – and like any parent, or any American, or, really, anyone – I feel like I have been punched in the gut and have yet to exhale. I’m sure you feel it too.
I couldn’t get an early train out of the city on Friday and when I finally picked Annie up, I drove home with mascara tears, saying, “I’m crying because I love you. I’m crying because I’m so happy to see you. Please don’t be scared, I’m sorry, your mommy is just sad. Something very bad happened today but you are OK and I am OK and daddy is OK too,” and then, a peppy squeak of, “Now, what do you want for dinner!?” Annie may have been asleep, or just tired, or just a quiet almost 13-month-old who can only say “dog”, “hi”, and “bye”, but of course she was silent as we drove through Valley Forge Park on our way home.
So, here we are. It’s Tuesday and it was a fine day: I just finished a big sweet potato pound cake cupcake (heavenly) left from a lunch I threw for our interns. Workloads are winding down in anticipation of the holidays. I took next week off. Matt and I carpooled today so I’m getting picked-up at the train by him and Annie – my Corolla chariot. But I can’t quite reconcile this ordinary day and feeling so very helpless. And hopeless.
I suppose I wrote a lot for not wanting to write about what happened this past Friday. But that horror is deep in my veins. I am not a religious person – but I want to have faith – so I whispered my meager thoughts of hope and healing and wished them to the heavens. Then I looked at my little girl – my shimmering star burst, my light – and said we need to do better. We need to do right by them.
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