"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the world will soon know peace. If my dreams should bring me fright, take me safe to morning light."
We ask for blessings for the people that we love and wish goodnight to the ones we can no longer hold or see. He tells me he loves me and I kiss his forehead. It's all very precious until he starts his list again. Goodnight cookies! Goodnight Hulk! I love you, apple juice! So on Friday evening as I tucked him in, I spent a whole lot longer than normal just staring at him and telling him that I love him. He eventually looked up at me and said, "Its ok, mama. You go out. I go night-night now"
He kicked me out. He didn't know that the day was a horrible day. To him it was any other night and I was lingering. I was breaking the routine. He goes to bed by himself now. So I left knowing that I'd return once he was asleep to kiss him again and watch him breathe. His adorable belly rising and falling. I knew I'd come back to soak up my living breathing loving baby boy as he slept. Just like countless parents across the world did that night.
When I returned to his room, I was overwhelmed with my love for him. My tears were hot on my cheeks as I tried not to wake him but was not ready to stop seeing him just yet. I silently said the blessing in my head. "I pray the world will soon know peace" and I added blessings and love to those suffering the unimaginable horror of losing their babies be they 6 years old or 56.
I prayed hard. For peace. Mostly for peace to come to hearts of those whose lives are now irrevocably changed but also for peace for all of us. Peace in our hearts to send our kids to school this week. Peace to calm our fears.
I prayed for answers. Please help them come before he is old enough to understand that gunmen sometime step into schools and carry out nightmares and bring despair. He has no understanding of such heart tearing things. He is unscarred. Beautifully unaware.
I want to freeze time and never allow that to change. Never allow the darkness to touch them. I want to change the world. I want to fix all of this. And I want to cry. Because my babies are becoming more aware of the world around them with each passing day. There is so much to do. So so much to do that it feels impossible.
But I can do things. I can use my life to help. To try. And the only way I know how to do that is to simply start. To begin. To build community and to love other people. To be that for my kids so that they learn it from me. To go beyond my yard and help. There was a quote circulating on Friday as news broke of the sheer horror inside Sandy Hook School. It was from Mr. Rogers on talking to children about tragedy.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." ~ Fred Rogers
If we look around the helpers are everywhere. I found one recently in the website HopeMob. I will write more about them this week and I hope to bring their message to this blog regularly. I am joining up. Not just for now but for the long haul. HopeMob gives every single penny that you donate to exact person or persons you donate them to. They raise money to feed the hungry or to pay people's medical bills. They raise money to help families grieve without worrying about funeral costs. Right now they are raising money for the first responders to Sandy Hook Elementary school. They are providing meals to them as they navigate this painful time processing the things they've witnessed. They are helpers. They are changing the world. Check them out. And if you are able to help, please consider sending a few dollars to one of their campaigns if it speaks to you. They take no overhead and they are verified and audited. They are the real deal.
Real people helping real people.
Well it's late and I need to go slip into bed next to my baby girl and whisper our blessing to her. I'm sure that I will spend more time than usual staring at the beauty of her breathing and the twitch of her pinky finger as she dreams. I will say a prayer for her and for everyone that the world will soon know peace. I will say a prayer for all of us.
Goodnight, my friends.