When I was pregnant with my first, my mom said to me “You have no idea how much you’ll love that child.” I told her I already did and that alone amazed me. She smiled and told me I still had no idea. And she was right. Having a child changes things. Having a child changes everything.
“Shattered” is as close as I can come to what I can only imagine the families of these murdered innocents are going through. I cried when I read about the tragedy, and I’m tearing up writing this. When I learned about Sandy Hook, Kid A was in school and Baby D was napping – I couldn’t hug either of them in that moment even though I really really needed to. I held Kid A a bit tighter when I picked him up today. And when he asked for two Hallowe’en candies for dessert, you’re damn right I gave them to him.
I direct you all to Mr. Rogers and the Onion tonight. They both have powerful, poignant messages.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers
And with that, I think I’m going to go lose myself in my fiction for a bit. Bad things do happen to my characters – very bad things happen to my characters: I write dark fantasy and my writing teacher has convinced me to start using horror in the description. But it’s fiction. And it’s my escape. Which I need right now.
Hug your kids. All the time. Even if it embarrasses them.