And, as shocked and heartbroken and appalled and numb we feel right now, we also have the grateful sense that it wasn’t our school and it wasn’t our children and by some inexplicable reason it happened there and not here.
And while I think I kissed my kiddos more today than yesterday. . .I found myself being more patient, more empathetic. . .a better listener. We made cookies and made a mess. We had dinner and had milk spilled twice. We had trivial but passionate arguments about what it meant to use five words to describe your day and does it count that when you start by saying, “Today was. . .” you are already two words in.
But we consciously asked about the day and we cleaned up the milk (2x) and poured more (2x) and we tried to work out what “five words” really meant and if everyone had to play by the same rules (I said we didn’t; Scott said we did).
You see, we needed to set the reset button in my house. Trying to get “everything” done for the holidays while managing the scout meetings and the homework and the birthday or holiday parties was starting to get to us. Arguments and harsh words were always a nano second away. Impatience with the children and each other has been our mode of operation. Stress, our drink of choice.
Tonight. . .we reset and became a family that circled the wagons because for some reason that school that could have been ours–wasn’t, and we had what the parents of 20 children no longer did–at least for one more day.