As I waited at the bus stop with my girl, I kept thinking to myself how 20 specific sets of parents woke up this morning and didn't have to get their baby ready for school. How a lot of parents all over the world didn't have to do that because they lost their child to cancer, a car accident, or in another way.
At 10, my daughter still isn't ashamed to be seen with me in public and I am happy for that because this world has changed so much in the last 30 years of my life. People don't express their love the same. People treat their kids differently. Most people are so caught up in their own lives that they don't focus as much as they should on their kids lives. I can't say I am perfect by any means, but I know when to stop and pay attention to what my child is saying to me. I know to tell her I love her and mean it. I know to give her praise and hugs all the time.
When the bus pulled up she said "Love you Momma!" like she does every single day and she puckered up for a kiss. I kissed her and grabbed her in for a big hug. I will miss my little girl today, but not even fractionally close to how the parents in Newtown, CT are missing their babies every day.
I've been hearing a lot about mental illness in the wake of this horrific tragedy. As someone who doesn't have all the proper chemicals in their brain, I understand. I don't understand how you could take another's life out of hatred, but I do understand the ability to lose control. I don't think we should be using mental illness as a scapegoat, but I do think it should be recognized a bit more.
I have so much to say on this subject. So much to say on mental illness being misunderstood and people not having a clue about it. I have so much to say on parenting and listening to your children.
My daughter just called from school because she forgot to bring her gym shoes. And when I said "Alanna, this is your responsibility to remember these things." I caught myself and thought: "Your baby needs you. Go." I can do that for her. I can bring her gym shoes every single day. I can tell her I love her every single day. But in Newtown, CT twenty sets of parents...cannot.