I wanted to sit down today and write a lighthearted post about anything that isn’t what is on everyone’s mind. But as I sit here, I realize I’m not ready to do that yet. Maybe tomorrow.

I wrote about it yesterday over at Pooping Rainbows. (Check them out; lots of good writing over there.) I will share it here today.

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Everything is different

My husband has a dangerous job. I’ve become quite skilled over the years at pushing the fear and worry of whether or not he will come home each day far into the back of my mind because I have to. To spend each day in fear of the unknown would destroy me. And so, I choose to believe it will all be OK and he will return each evening to kiss his children.

Like so many others, the tragedy that occurred on Friday has changed me. There is a chink in my armor, a crack in my foundation. I suppose this is my Kennedy assassination — a world event changing me to the very core. I’ve been walking around in a fog with a pit in my stomach I just can’t shake. I’m crying at random moments and having a lot of trouble watching the news. I’ve sobbed through first-hand accounts and stared at the pictures of those tiny faces for far too long. Since Friday I’ve hardly done more than hold my children. My oldest — two and half — told me I was squeezing him too tight. If only he knew it wasn’t tight enough.

I alternate between wanting to watch, read and talk about anything that isn’t this, and not understanding how anyone could think of anything but. I carry guilt as I wrap Christmas presents because my children will have the chance to open them.

As I write this, parents across the country are putting their babies on the school bus for the first time since Friday and I just don’t know how they are doing it. How are they letting go of their little hands and watching them drive away? When will that simple routine feel normal again?

The fears I keep at bay are threatening so very hard to bubble to the surface. Hell, they’re at the surface. They’re threatening to spill over. I know that at some point I will have to let go and send those I love out into the world without fear, I’m just not sure how to do that anymore.

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