I talked to Isaac about the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday evening. I was in the middle of dropping the kids off at my parents' house so Tim and I could attend his office Christmas party, and my parents had the news blaring on the television.
I saw Isaac read the headline on the bottom of the screen, and his brow furrowed. "What does this mean, 20 children are dead from school shooting?"
I sat on the ground and pulled him into my lap. "Isaac, a crazy man with a bunch of guns went into an elementary school this morning and shot people. He shot students and teachers, and they think about 27 people are dead. 20 of them are kids."
"Did they catch him? Is he in jail?"
"He is dead too. The police found him and he's dead. He won't hurt anybody else."
"Okay, that's pretty good I guess."
"Emily, come over here now. Isaac and Emi, I'm going to tell you something that you have to promise never to forget. If something terrible happens at school, if there is a fire or an earthquake or a burglar or a person who wants to hurt people, you need to listen to your teacher, okay? If it's an intruder, your teacher will probably tell you to stay quiet and to hide somewhere, and if she tells you to hide somewhere, you stay hidden until the police come get you, okay? Even if things are quiet."
They nodded. And then I hugged them way too hard for their liking.
That night, Isaac had a pretty cool dream:
Last night I dreamed that in the future, when babies are still in the mama’s belly, that creatures that look like ticks and spiders try to attack the baby inside. But then in my dreams I invented a tiny machine, a tiny robot, that stood at the opening and attacked the ticks and spiders.
Also I wanted to make the babies safer even more, so I tried to make pills that would make a hole or ditch that the baby could hide in inside the mama’s belly, and the pills would put a cream on the baby so that anything that touched it until it was born would get a bruise and limp away. But at first the baby just fell into the hole and cried as it fell in because it was too deep. So I went back and fixed some things and tried again. It took me four times to perfect it. Then when the baby *was* safe, I woke up.
Here are some of my more immediate thoughts during the weekend:
I understand that the US will remain a gun-toting nation for the conceivable future, and apparently yesterday's tragedy is the price the rest of us have to pay for other people's obsessions with them. I get it, and that is why I am choosing not to try to convince any pro-second-amendment folks to reconsider things. If they slept well yesterday, then they won't be convinced ever.
Perhaps I am stuck in the anger phase of mourning, but right now, if I see any of you talking about YOUR precious rights after 20 babies were taken from their families...I sneeze in your general direction and will make sure you have no influence on the minds and souls of my own children.
It's the tone that I object to most, I think. The pro-more-gun-control people are hand-wringing and navel-gazing and wondering about how we as a society can prevent another tragedy like this from occurring again. Meanwhile, some pro-NRA types are making jokes, being sarcastic, toting slogans. I fucking hate that. You are doing nothing for your cause.
Yes, still in anger stage of mourning.
It is now Tuesday, and not a half-hour goes by without thinking about those babies and the adults who tried to protect them. These beautiful souls, whom I never met, yet love and miss as if they were friends, did not deserve to die that day, especially in such a violent way. And I don't know if I handled things well with Isaac and Emi, although they do seem to be acting normally. All tolled, I'm a mess.