“Making the decision to have a child — it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
— Elizabeth Stone
Every life is full of defining, pivotal moments.
Age 3: My Uncle Howie died, traumatizing me my first week of nursery school
Age 8: My house burned down
Age 13: My Bat-Mitzvah
Age 16: First overseas trip (Greece)
Age 17: Driver’s license/high school graduation/off to college
Age 20: Semester abroad in Buenos Aires
Age 26: Got engaged
Age 27: Got married
Age 31: Becoming a mom
Of all those pivotal, life-changing moments … the last has been the most awe-inspiring and incredible. This week — Tuesday — she turns two. TWO. Our sweet baby girl is going to be two. To say I can’t believe it would be an understatement.
And in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School … I can’t help but share my deep gratitude for this little wonder — a sweet girl who literally lights up our lives every single day, who I hope will light up every one of our days for the next 100 years.
Looking at the photos of these sweet, innocent children … and then seeing their grieving parents interviewed in the media … it’s impossible not to internalize, to attempt to empathize–all the while praying that will never be you. My heart aches for those parents. Until you become one yourself, I think it’s impossible to understand such profound and visceral love … I can’t even begin to fathom what they are experiencing–and pray I never have to.
Some of these amazing, brave parents have said they aren’t angry. I have to admit — I honestly don’t know where they find it in their hearts to forgive … I wasn’t even personally affected and I can’t fathom forgiveness in this horrific situation. I admire them for their ability to forgive and wish them strength and courage; they are truly inspiring.
Like so many of us, I held my husband and daughter a little tighter this weekend; called my family multiple times; prayed for the families affected by this unspeakable tragedy. But hugs, prayers and thoughts simply aren’t enough.
We have a huge problem in this country. Mental health is stigmatized (ignored or undiagnosed); nearly anyone can get a gun; assault weapons aren’t banned; violence is glamorized in the media … it’s a recipe for disaster. We need a multi- pronged solution — one that addresses all these issues, and reinstates our faith in humanity.
Because things have to change. We can’t bubble-wrap our children … So how many more Columbines, Virginia Techs, Auroras, Fort Hoods, Sandy Hooks, etc. need to occur before we wake up? My sweet Maya gets to celebrate her birthday on Tuesday … but 20 innocent first-graders and 6 brave adults do not to celebrate their next birthday.
So for Charlotte, Daniel, Rachel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Dawn, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Anne Marie, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Lauren, Mary, Victoria, Benjamin and Allison … please know — we will never forget you and may you rest in peace. You didn’t die in vain. We can’t bring you back but together, we can make things right for the future. For our children, and our children’s children.