Dylan: “Hey Mom – do you know where all the magic in the world comes from?”
Me: “No, where?”
Dylan: “It comes from Heaven. All the magic in the world comes from Heaven.”
Can you imagine? How brilliant, how genius, how perceptive and amazing and simple of a statement from a 5 year old thinking only about pajama day at school and pancakes for lunch and knowing nothing about the chaos and darkness that me and everyone else has been feeling and hiding from him for the past week since we first learned about Sandy Hook.I haven’t written about what happened there yet. I haven’t wanted to nor have I been able to. But if this blog is anything at all, it is to be an accurate reflection and extension of me and where I’m at. And if I’m anywhere, truthfully I’m still stuck there. I’m drowning in this juxtaposition of Christmas time and everything on the radio isn’t just regular happy, it’s hyper-jolly music and twinkling lights and gleeful children and a group of adults who I see, much like me, are almost characters in a play. We laugh and dance and smile for our excited, blissfully ignorant children who are counting down to winter vacation, but our eyes and our body language tell a different story. So many of us I think are still stuck there too.
And I hear so many around me rallying for gun control and petitions and mental health platforms, and for some reason the liberal nut inside of me is quiet, still. I know at some point I will rise up and join them but I’m not ready. I’m still stuck on the names, the place. This wasn’t a movie I’d never seen in a place I’d never been to in Colorado, or a town I’d never heard of in Oregon. This was here – in my home. In Connecticut. And while my pain or grief for anyone who dies from these senseless acts of violence should be no less acute whether I can relate or not, truthfully it does feel different. I don’t want it to but it does. Because I’ve been to Newtown. I know this place. I know these people. It wasn’t my Dylan but it was someone’s Dylan – my G-d someone’s Dylan. It is the thought I can’t get out of my head.And that’s where I’m stuck. I’m stuck in their pain. I’m stuck in the terror that they could never have calculated this as a possibility, that this kind of pain would find them and their families. But if it found them, their Dylan, then it could find mine too. I feel like Phil and I have an entirely new set of worries for our children that our own parents never even considered. Not just the idea of what kinds of mistakes and pitfalls they will stumble upon as they make increasingly independent choices and grow up, but just wonder if in a society of seemingly endless random chaos, they will ever get the chance to even make those mistakes, at all.
If I think too much about it all, it honestly overwhelms me and I feel like I can’t breathe. So I look to my kids. They are amazing. And they are helping me breathe. We eat cookie dough out of the bowl and grab the hot cookies fresh off the pan when they are still warm and gooey. I even let them eat in the playroom. Ruby grinds her chocolate chip into the fibers of the carpet. We feel wild and naughty. I feel myself breathing again. There is total silence, nothing but the munching of cookies and the sound of the pounding rain falling outside. I see that through them, because of them, there is still goodness and innocence, kindness and hope and life and gratitude around me. I feel it, I wrap it around me – like magic from Heaven.