Tonight I was supposed to post for you a video of me singing “Let It Snow” for Neilochka’s annual blogger online holiday concert and celebration. Something told me I should have recorded it earlier in the week, but I failed to heed that little voice. It’s impossible now because I caught a quick-moving bug that knocked me on my ass and left me with a stopped up right ear and a voice that optimistically sounds like throaty Kathleen Turner but more likely frightens anyone who hears me.
I thought about still trying to participate. Perhaps I could sing the earthy “Santa Baby?” Or maybe do a parody of Springsteen’s wailing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” But I’m too hoarse and rough for either. I’ve been ordered to whisper because it hurts my throat to try to speak.
And honestly, in light of the news out of Newtown today, fretting over not being able to participate seems inappropriate. Or maybe it wouldn’t have been since the celebration was about sharing, fellowship and embracing all the ways to celebrate this time of year.
It’s hard to process the tragic events that happened in Newtown, but it’s horrifically relatable since I have a child who is closer to being in Kindergarten than not being in Kindergarten. Babies were shot down today. Babies. The Newtown tragedy seems way too close to home. It’s not about me, though, and has nothing to do with me. But I can picture it and I feel so horrified and sad and angry for those families.
Tonight after we got home, Daniel said, “I want to cuddle you, Mommy.” I bent down instantly and wrapped him in my arms, squeezing him tighter than was comfortable likely. For a moment he was engulfed in my arms, and I wished they were enough to protect him always or that there was some River Styx nearby for me to dip him in (although I like to think I’d learn from Achilles’ mom’s mistake and leave no part of him undipped). They aren’t. There isn’t.
Life is hard. Nasty. Brutish. But some acts are beyond the pale, and it is those acts that we must decisively prevent. We need to make some major changes in our approaches to gun laws in this country. I don’t care how anti-government you believe yourself to be, we shouldn’t fear for our babies in environments in which they should be the safest. Like public school. Shit like this happens in war zones in third-world countries and we condemn it as a war crime. Here? It’s part of the culture. Bullshit. Bullshit. BULLSHIT. I call shenanigans. Something has got to change or what’s next? A preschool? A daycare? A nursing home? We need to do something NOW. This type of event is unacceptable and preventable.
I didn’t mean to go there but damn. Kindergarteners are so small and innocent. It was only a few years earlier that they were learning how to walk and figuring out how to talk. We shouldn’t have to fear whether some asshole with mental issues is going to shoot up their classroom. STOP IT NOW.
But we could use a laugh or at least a weak smile after today’s events. I don’t know if you saw it, but the Colbert Report did a mash-up of Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey. It. Is. Awesome. My two favorite shows, together? Genius. Please enjoy and may it bring a wee bit of levity to you during a very grim day.