A week ago today we were just existing as normal. Work and school, getting ready for the Christmas. We were worried about our dog, nervous about transplant med changes, and we were obsessing about a certain present on a certain child’s wish list.
The blissful ignorance we lived in a week ago today.
Then it happened. I suppose we’ll all remember where we were (at my desk, in and out of Twitter, working, just past a Google+ hangout) and then we inhaled and started reading the news.
Four kids killed. More than a dozen. Two shooters. Parents being matched up with their children. School is secure. More than 20 people gunned down, mostly children.
The reports changed as fast as they came out across my computer. Disbelief. Sadness. I was glued to the screen, knowing I had a late work day, but so distracted I couldn’t work. Gage had heard about it at school, Quinnlin had not.
I’d made the concious decision to keep the news off at home, see how much the kids knew, answer their questions and keep them sheltered from the worst news reports and photos. I just didn’t want the images in their heads. I just didn’t. My kids deal with enough death, having thought about their own mortaility in reality because of their disease, their transplant surgeries, or thinking at one time that death would be better than life.
The shooting brought out a lot of discussions in the kids, especially Gage. Having felt suicidal before as a result of debilitating PTSD, we were able to openly talk about how it feels to be in utter and complete despair, as someone would have to be to do such a heinous thing, we reasoned. We talked specifically about suicide and how he felt just a few years ago.
“But I’m past all that.” He said.
Sometimes I forget that while he’s thirteen, his life experience is well beyond thriteen. He is an amazing kid. I’m so lucky to be a part of a life that allows me to be in his.
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