Day: December 14, 2012

In the Aftermath

Some days I read the news and I have to put my heart into a box for a while.

26 people dead. Shot at an Elementary school in Connecticut. 20 of them children. It is the second worst school shooting in US history. The deadliest ever at an elementary school. Children killed in the place where they should be safe.

I have to walk away from the news. Watching video, perusing pictures, reading first hand accounts all traumatize me. They add to the level of trauma in the world without providing any benefit. It is a form of rubbernecking: looking at the wreckage of an accident, trying to figure out how it happened, why it happened, how I can make sure it never happens to the one I love. But then I have to face my darkest fear.

I can not keep my children safe. I can’t stop people from hurting them. No law or rule or boundary is so infallible that human ingenuity can’t overcome it. Laws and regulations provide safety from accident and stupidity, they do nothing to prevent malice.

We can’t guarantee safety and an event like this reminds me of that.

So I check in on the news story every once in a while. If I see a logical adjustment to increase safety I’ll take it. If I see a way to help, I’ll take that too. Otherwise I’ll be away from the news, trying to add to the count of good things in the world. I’ll watch for the people around me who are alone, who are desperate, I’ll reach out to help where I can. I’ll advocate to make mental health care more accessible and to remove the stigmas around mental health issues so that people are less afraid to admit they need help. These are the actions I can take in the next weeks and months.

For today, I put my heart into a box. I lock it tight and proceed.

The House of the Skewampus Schedules

On Wednesday Kiki and I stayed up until midnight. She’d been working all day on a picture book project. I stayed up an hour longer to scan all the pictures before she gave away the book on Thursday. Kiki came home from school on Thursday and crashed into sleep. She slept until 10pm and then was more or less awake until time to get up on Friday morning. She is tired and likely to drag through school today. I took a nap mid day Thursday which restored me to being functional, but fatigue returned in force by evening. I should have gone to bed early, but what with one thing and another, I didn’t. I’m tired today and a nap may be called for. Howard got an invitation to a midnight showing of The Hobbit. He went. When I got up at 5:30 this morning, he was still fully dressed and in the kitchen making breakfast. “By the time I got home an blogged my review, I realized everyone would be getting up in forty minutes. It seemed easier to just stay awake.” He crashed into bed at about 7 am. Link is also tired today from various nights of staying up later than he ought. Gleek and Patch got to sleep in a bit this morning because I knew they’d done their homework the night before.

Not one person in this house has had a normal sleep schedule for the past 48 hours. And it was just Monday when I felt a new commitment to getting to bed on time so we could stabilize the family schedule…