I am numb. So incredibly numb.
For those of you living under a rock, there was a horrible school massacre today. A mass shooting in an elementary school. AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
Today started out like any other day. It was sunny and briskly cold. A beautiful Friday.
I was doing some Christmas shopping at Walmart with the kiddos and all flustered by Hunter's tantrum over me not letting him get a matchbox car. I hustled them out to the car, buckled car seat buckles, settled into my seat and started driving. My cell rang and it was Daryl, asking me if I had heard about the school shooting in Sandy Hook.
"Wait...what? A school shooting?"
"Yes. At SHAYNE'S SCHOOL!"
Shayne is Daryl's 9 year old cousin. It didn't immediately sink in and when it did, I was instantly in tears, practically shouting out "Is SHAYNE OK?!?!" just as Daryl was saying "Shayne is fine."
Even after the relief at that set in, I couldn't hold back the tears.
And now, the aftermath. This coward killed 26 people, 20 of which are children. CHILDREN.
I have been in a daze all afternoon, crying sporadically and trying to hide it from my kids. I poured like half a cup of coffee all over my face and down my shirt, somehow.
20 babies, between the ages of 5-10, who will not get to celebrate this Christmas, or grow up, marry, have kids of their own some day. Gone, in the blink of an eye.
I can't tell you how many times I touched my kids this afternoon. Hugging them, kissing them. smoothing their cheeks.
Tomorrow we are going over Shayne's house (we already had plans to do this, Daryl is going to be cleaning his aunt and uncle's boiler) and Daryl called tonight, just to be sure they didn't want to cancel. They don't. I plan on squeezing Shayne so hard so will barely be able to breathe. And hopefully watching her play with my kids. I have no idea what she witnessed/heard/felt today but I can only imagine the inner scars.
And as a Mom, I can't stop thinking of the mothers and fathers who won't be tucking their babies in safely into their bed tonight. It breaks my heart. And makes me feel almost guilty that I WILL get to tuck my kids in, kiss their warm cheeks and smooth back the hair on their foreheads.
Kids are so intuitive. Hunter came over to me earlier this evening and gently rubbed my arm. He looked up at me with sweet brown eyes and softly said, "I love you, Mama." His little hand slid into mine. I wrapped my fingers around his and squeezed.
"I love you too, baby."
Goodnight, sweet children.