I was home from school on Friday. Rowan and I were taking a day to recover from a nasty cold/cough/yuck bug that had invaded our family. I took in the horror on live news coverage. I would watch a little and then turn it off. And then watch a little more, and turn it off again. Over and over. Because my mind and heart couldn't take more than that.
The sadness and weight of it all hit me in waves.
First as a mom.
Then as a teacher.
Then as the mom of a kindergartener.
Then as a Kindergarten teacher.
Each time it felt worse. Each new ripple of sadness cut more deeply than the last.
I found myself wanting to rush to Trey's school to get him, hug him, tell him how very much I love him. And I found myself wanting to rush to my own classroom. To hug my students before they left school for the weekend and remind them that they are so, so valuable. That our class just wouldn't be the same without each one of them. I was so thankful to be home with Rowan.
On Saturday, still trying to process it all, I read this "When the world feels too loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels too violent, we must be peaceful. When the world feels evil, we must be good."
It's the first thing that made any sense to me in all of this.
Since Friday, I have done the only things I've known to do. I've cried. I've prayed. I've hugged. I've read books, played games, and danced with my kids. I smiled at everyone I saw while I was running my Saturday errands. I looked into my cashiers' eyes and wished them a good day and a Merry Christmas. I paid for the order behind me at Taco Bell. I delivered Christmas cards and homemade goodies to my neighbors. And the whole time, I was thinking of the precious lives lost. Because I don't know a better way to honor someone's memory than by spreading love. By being a teensy-tiny, ittty-bitty, little spot of good when the world has so much sadness.
Yesterday, Rowan was twirling herself around the living room singing "Christmas is a time, Christmas is a time, Christmas is a time for love.", again and again. I stopped what I was doing to just watch and listen. In response to what has happened, I will do what I can. I will pray and I will love. Again and again.
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other."