I am sitting for a moment. Resting. Catching my breath. I’ve been working all morning, packing, sorting, labeling boxes….all while trying to keep O’s routine afloat. At least let me feed him on time. And get him down for a nap…Yes! A nap! There is a sea of boxes in my kitchen. Some packed and some waiting to be filled. There are towers of suitcases in my living room. Multiple rolls of tape and bubble wrap….somewhere. We move in two days, but I just have to rest for a second. Catch my breath and write a little because there has been something gnawing at me. Through all the happy disarray that is our life right now, there is an underlying sadness sitting on my heart. I’m sure you have heard about it. I’m talking about the terrorist attack on a church and it’s members in South Carolina. I can’t shake it. I can’t just gloss over it and move on. I believe there are so many of us who are feeling this way. I’m not confused or baffled. I can’t say, “How could this happen?” I know exactly how it happened.
I’m upset and I’m mad. I am ashamed of our laws. I am ashamed of the racism that runs through our country’s veins, infecting generation after generation. I’m ashamed that our biggest priority, as a country, has been to defend ourselves from terrorism, but just the foreign kind. I’m mad at our elected officials who want to pretend this wasn’t an act of terrorism. I’m ashamed of “Merica.” I feel small and insignificant. I feel, as I imagine so many of us do, helpless.
I then look over at my son and see a lifetime of possibilities. I know that my husband and I have an important job to do. We have to raise this child to become a good, kind and decent person. In light of this crazy world we live in, it is clear to me, this is no easy task. I can’t imagine anyone having the intention to raise their child to be a monster. Of course not. But what about the idea of parenting with intention? Children don’t just raise themselves…..or is that is what’s happening? This world is filled with violence, hate, rage and unspeakable demons. My child will be bombarded with these things time and time again as he grows. It is our job to explain. To teach. To filter and interpret until he is old enough to do so himself. If we neglect to guide him, then we will have failed him. It is our intention to raise a good, kind and decent person. We can never lose sight of that result. It is the least we can do for him. He has given our life profound unexpected meaning. He has given us a love we didn’t really know existed until we were filled with it. We owe him everything.
I don’t want to throw stones at any parent. I don’t want to pass judgment, though it’s a tough one. The pain the shooter’s parents must feel is unimaginable to me. Frankly, it scares me to death. I wouldn’t want to be in those shoes, God Forbid. I always say, “never say never.” So I won’t say, “that would never be me!” I will just pray extra hard that it won’t be. I will try extra hard to have it not be. And I’ll keep both my eyes on the boy I am raising to be that good, kind and decent person.
There is so much more I want to say. So many thoughts swirling around my head regarding this quandary our country is in. I am struggling. I honestly can’t find the words. At least the right words. But one thing I know for sure is that we need to talk about this. We need to figure this out. And it isn’t going to happen if we try to forget about it or pretend it didn’t happen. I certainly don’t have the answers for everyone. I can only do my little part (which is pretty big). I need to love and raise our son. I need to actively participate in his upbringing. It will be the most important thing I can do to end this craziness that has become the norm.