A Different Christmas

My blog is not unlike many others in that it's nature aims to highlight the best of times, in personal accounts of my life as a mother. The crafts, and the parties and the events that make us happy, as a family. Projects we are inspired by. Days and moments we are proud of. The news this past Friday however is far too awful to simply overlook here in a space that celebrates watching children grow and evolve, and carrying a heartache so real it feels as if I've lost someone in my own circle. A tragedy so cruel, it seems unfathomable for us to try and process as adults, let alone begin to explain to our own children, especially when the faces asking are exactly the same age as those who suffered so brutally.

I walked into Arlo's school Friday afternoon completely unknowing of the events that had been unfolding in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary school that morning. I had enjoyed the hours to myself after dropping my younger boys off with Grandma, finishing up some Christmas shopping and listening to records instead of the news while I cleaned up.

Rushing in with a basket full of cupcakes to share with kids for their school party, I noticed the flag lowered at half staff. I asked the woman at the front desk about it as I signed in, and felt the wind knocked out of me when I heard the news.

That day we as parents and teachers, hid tears as we scooped hot chocolate, handed out cookies and sang Christmas songs with the kids. They were all in pajamas, first graders with missing teeth, full of hugs and so excited about the Holiday and the party at hand. I will always remember that day, that party, those hours. Feeling the weight of new sadness growing heavier in spite of such sweet celebrations. Even now, our tree at home appears suddenly limp and dipped in sorrow, our records sound bleak and the weather depressing. There are no words to put around it, no ideal explanation to deliver to our kids wondering about the facts. Everything about what transpired at that school in those few minutes makes us feel downright helpless and small. Even grown up, we are terrified by the reality of such evil. Things are different. Christmas this year is different. We are all very sad.
And that's ok.

So we hold our children tighter and mourn those that are no longer with us.