I had to watch the news of the shootings last week unfold via social media. At home sick, I watched it trickle its way through Twitter,
then Facebook as it moved from one coast to the other. I sat in my bed, horror struck at what was done. The horror that comes from hearing that innocent babies went to school and won’t come home.
As I’ve said before, in responses to tragedies such as these, there is no way to make sense of the senseless. We, as people who would not commit such acts, will never understand those who do, or why. But this time, as everyone is spouting their opinions on gun laws, bullying, violence in the media and social media itself, I will tell you what has bothered me most about our nation’s reaction.
What bothers me is that so many people I know proudly proclaimed on Facebook over the weekend, “I have spent every second with my child this weekend. I’m going to savor this moment in the wake of CT.” Maybe not each person verbatim, but you get the idea. And while many commented with smiley faces and a “me too” I chose not to say anything at all.
It shouldn’t be something special that you spent time with your child and you shouldn’t need a tragic shooting to remind you that time with your child is precious and special and should be savored.
Maybe it was just my household, but both my parents worked and they also spent time with me. I played outside and rode my bike, then came inside and had dinner with my parents (when we were able to as a family). They didn’t make it to every sporting event, but, damn it, they tried. We had very little money, so my mother bought a pass to a local museum with hands on things for children and took us there every chance she could. It was not a special occasion to go, just something we did together.
I’m not telling you not to squeeze your children a little tighter tonight; I’m tell you that it shouldn’t be something that only occurs to you to do when you are reminded that you might not have these moments forever.
Cherish your children every day. And spend time with them every weekend. Do not make it a special occasion that you spent an entire day with them. Tragedies serve to remind us of what’s at stake, but it shouldn’t serve to remind you that your children deserve your time, love, and attention. They should be getting that regardless of what is happening in the world.
Wake up every day and remember that each day we have is a gift. Don’t let that gift go unopened. You will never get today back and you never know when there will be no more tomorrows.