Kate's Christmas program was Friday night. Amidst all the parental pride and clamoring to get the best camera angle, there was awareness of how we are able to continue our fun Christmas plans, while so many parents have just had their lives completely derailed by horrific loss.
The death of a child is horrible any time, but especially given this tragedy's proximity to Christmas, I keep thinking about stockings already hung, and presents already wrapped and under the tree. I think about families who might have said a week ago, "Oh, we'll just wait until Saturday to go visit Santa," or whatnot. I think about a day last week when I was so busy picking things up around the house before work that I didn't go kiss the kids as Matt left to take them to school. I was so sad as they drove away; imagine if a mother in Connecticut had had such a morning last Friday.
Last night at The Road, we sang "Away In a Manger," and I choked up with a line I'd never paid much attention to before:
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven
To live with Thee there.
I heard one Connecticut parent's apt description of the phrase "loss of innocence." His fourth-grade twins heard the shots and were understandably shaken. They slept in their parents' bed Friday night and had trouble sleeping, while their three-year-old brother slept soundly, "like nothing had happened." Like many parents whose children are this small, we haven't talked to Kate about what happened, and turn off the news when she's around.
See the joy of children oblivious to violence and cruelty:
Kate's class recites a poem starting around the 3-minute mark. Kate knew her line so well and had been reciting it for weeks. The full text is here:
It's fun to pretend what the animals said
As the little Lord Jesus slept in his bed.
The Bible tells of the Savior's birth,
How Jesus, God's son was sent down to earth.
He came to bring peace, salvation, and love.
And now he's with God in heaven above.