When I woke up this morning the news was broadcasting the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, CO. Right now, they are saying at least 12 people were killed and dozens of others were injured, including a 3 month old baby. In my lifetime, which is now a span of 27 years, I can recall other senseless acts of violence-- the school shooting at Columbine, the shooting at Virginia Tech, an office building shooting in Atlanta (I think), and 9/11-- to name a few. As I watched each act unfold on the television I felt the same way each time: numb, confused, scared. I was in 8th grade when Columbine happened, I was a junior in high school when 9/11 happened, I was still young. During those times, I really had to only think about myself and how I felt about each situation. Today, I am a mom and I have to think about my daughter. How do I help her make sense of such things? How do I help her navigate such a confusing, sometimes cruel, world?
Right now, Lily is only 1, so her biggest worry is learning how to walk without falling. I know I don't need to immediately worry about teaching her to cope with crisis and tragedy, but I also know that day is coming faster than I would like to admit. We certainly live in an imperfect world. There are definitely moments of pure wonder and beauty. I don't, and can't, believe that the world is completely broken. But these acts happen and they cause me to pause and wonder how someone can feel so isolated that he needs to cause pain for others.
I suppose the best I can do for Lily is teach her to be good. I need to teach her to find her own happiness and grasp it and live it. I need to show her that there are wonderful, amazing things, and people, in the world. I need to show her that even when bad things happen, the world does keep moving, life continues, and things will get better. I know Lily had wonderful examples of good, honest people in her life. I am confident that she will always feel supported and encouraged throughout her whole life. She is SO loved.
I guess, when it comes down to it, I don't want her to feel pain or to be hurt. I also know that isn't realistic. She will be hurt, she will feel pain and I (and Tom) will always be here to pick her back up. I also know that she will feel joy. I just need to remember that the joy she will feel will far eclipse the pain that she will feel. The moments that she will remember will always be the ones that made her the happiest. Even after my grandparents passed away, and I felt pain from their deaths, the things I remember, and that I carry with me, are the happy times I shared with them.
So, this post was a little all over the place. As a parent, I realize I have so many more things to worry about than I did before. I also know that I have more joy in my life than before. I love my little Bean, and look forward to helping her learn and grow...through life's wonderful moments, and its hardest ones.