I know today is a hard day for a lot of people. I know I gave Donovan a big hug and an "I love you to the moon and back" when I dropped him off today. I also know we can't live our lives in fear that some crazy person is going to ruin our lives today. All we can do is love our children (and make sure we tell them daily) and hope and pray we never have to know what it feels like to suffer unimaginable loss. I continue to trust that Donovan is safe at school and know that no matter what happens in his life, he knows how much I love him.I believe that, I really do. I also still cry when I see the news. I cry for the parents of those 20 children and I cry because when I see the photos of the children and think about what happened to them my mind immediately goes to Donovan since he is not much younger than the victims. How would I even be able to cope with that kind of loss? I have no idea and all I can do is hope and pray I never have to find out.
Donovan was in a 3 hour art class on Friday when I heard the news. It's one of his most favorite things to do every week aside from preschool. I wanted to run and pick him up early but I stopped myself. I didn't want him to miss out on all the fun I knew he was having. I pulled into that parking lot 30 minutes early and just sat there listening to the news and reading updates on my phone. I was anxious to get to my baby, hug him and tell him how much I love him. Suddenly all the little things that had been annoying me recently seemed silly - all I could think about was giving my little man the biggest hug of his life. When I did go in to get him, he got such a huge hug that it prompted him to ask me if I was OK (perceptive kid)
I've noticed a change in myself since Friday. Before Friday's events The "truly terrible 3's" were driving me nuts. I had very little patience with Donovan and found myself yelling at him more than I'd like to admit. I was struggling with dealing with the talking back, the whining, the tantrums - and there were many. Friday made me take a step back and remember that he's 3, and acting like every other 3 year old on the planet. I've been telling him "I love you to the moon and back" so often that he's no longer responding when I say it. I have been hugging him, kissing him and playing with him more. I am reminded how lucky I am that he is in our lives: happy, healthy and alive.
I know I can not shield Donovan or Iris from all the bad things and people in this world. I also don't want them going to schools that are behind bars because we all suddenly fear this kind of tragedy will happen again. I want them to be kids, to be innocent as long as possible and enjoy their childhoods. All I can do is show them and tell them how much I love them and have faith that they will have long, happy, healthy lives. I'll worry about them until the day I leave this world and I will love them with all my heart - it's all I can do and it will have to be enough. I refuse to live my life in fear; that's no way to live and not the way I want my children to live their lives.
Hug your children tight, be thankful for all the good things you have and go on with life. Sadly bad things will happen and we won't always be there to protect or shield our children. Show them all the love you can and have faith they'll be OK.