Kids, comments and hugs

For the record, I’m not sure if I should be writing this post.  It’s not like I can say anything to make today make sense.  But it feels like I should try to put some of the many thoughts I’m having onto “paper.”

When I first heard about the shooting in CT, there seemed to be nothing I could say.  I had no words.

I do now.

This morning I stood at the window of my office and looked down the hill to where busses of kids were unloading to attend a performance of Guess How Much I Love You.  They were packed like peanuts into those big yellow vehicles, and even from where I stood you could see that they were excited to be at the theater.

I don’t have kids.  I’m not sure I’ll ever have kids.  But when I am in our theater and it’s filled with kids, I’m filled with hope that maybe our future could be brighter, if we grownups would stop screwing things up.

I stood there looking at the kids, thinking all of these things as I normally do, and I felt a smile creep over my face.  To no one in particular, I said:

“I was never that little.”

But I was. My parents sent me off to a small New England school every day, and maybe they worried about me failing a test, being bullied, or not getting a lead in a show, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t worry about me being shot.

After I heard about the shooting, I tried to stay off the interwebs, but that’s hard these days.  On twitter, I was alerted that President Obama had made a highly emotional statement.  I found a transcript of it, and in one of the comments (Yes, I know – I should never, EVER read the comments), I saw this:

“Man up BHO — Itis (sic) YOUR fault. You led this country fou (sic) four years to this condition where the citizenry is out of sort (sic), hope, and control.” 

I shouldn’t have been surprised to read this, but I was.

I’m sorry, I don’t care if this dude has the constitutional right to say whatever asinine thing that comes to his mind in whatever forum we give him.  My message for him is simple: Shut up.  Just shut up.  Go hug someone.  That would be more helpful – for real.

I know everyone is going to talk about gun control now.  And mental health counseling.  And money for public (or private) education.  And I’m going to be thinking about why the death of these 28 people strikes us, as a nation, so deeply, when children die by the hundreds all over the world.

It doesn’t matter what I think.  I’m not important here.

Those beautiful little kids and their families are.  Their teachers are.  Their friends are. Politics cannot answer this for us. I’m not sure this can ever be answered. While I’m not religious in any real way, I’m going to try to pay attention to those who are looking for answers to this in scripture, philosophy and sociology.  Maybe there are some new insights to be found there.  I don’t know.

I don’t have a child to hug tonight, but I hope everyone who does gets some comfort from it.

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