just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

I Want a White Christmas

I want a White Christmas.

I want the kind of snow that floats lazily down to the ground and slowly builds throughout the day—erasing any ugliness, instead leaving a virgin landscape of white. I want to stand by my window with a warm cup of tea in hand and gaze at the snow steadily, and gently, descending. Watching the falling snow, like watching the rhythmic crashing of the waves, brings a certain peace.

In truth, I want that peace.

A week has passed since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Until today, I couldn’t bring myself to write about them because the thought of those children, the laughter that was silenced, and the wretched sorrow the parents were experiencing was simply too much for me to bear.

In the mornings, when I struggle with my seven and ten-year-old to get ready for school, I wonder if one of the Newtown parents had a similar morning a week ago Friday, not realizing it would be their last with their son or daughter.

When I see my children off to school, I always end it with, “I love you” —only now it seems to hold more meaning.

Later as I run errands, and pass three police cars driving at high speed in the opposite direction—the direction of my children’s school—my thoughts immediately wonder exactly where they are headed and why. When I get home and see the news of a random gunman on the loose not too far from the school, I call the main office just to make sure they know—because everything seems so fragile right now.

At night when I tuck my kids in, inhaling their freshly showered smells, I kiss them and try and absorb it all because life is too short—and for others even more so.

When I am not with my children, I try and make sense of an otherwise senseless tragedy. Everywhere everyone is trying to do the same. For some it is about guns, others mental health and still others point to a culture of violence. But it isn’t that simple. The issue is when all of these things intersect with a person filled with anger.

It seems everywhere you turn, there is another crime driven by uncontrolled anger. Crimes committed by all different types of people, not just those with mental health issues. What has happened that people don’t have the ability to work through their emotions? Why is it that instead, it builds and festers until the anger weeps from a dark place within them and violence erupts?

As one person, I can’t immediately change legislation, or work towards better supporting mental health issues or tackle the pervasive violence that is glorified in games and the media, but I can do something.

I can teach my children how to work through their anger, without violence, and I can help them strive towards developing a culture of caring. Wouldn’t a culture of caring be better than a culture of anger and violence?

I know that these are idealistic views, but I have to wonder what might be gained by spreading warmth and compassion instead of anger and violence. It may not solve everything, but if it makes a difference to even one person, then we’ve accomplished something.

In the wake of this tragedy, I challenge whoever reads this post to do one unsolicited good deed for another. I’d like to hear from anyone who does.

I will continue to wish for a White Christmas and for pure snow to blanket the earth, bringing with it a hope of a new start.


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