Tuesday, December 18, 2012


On Friday morning, I logged onto Facebook and immediately saw that almost every status update mentioned something terrible happening in Connecticut and I was afraid to look at the news.  Wanting to stay "in the know", I logged onto Yahoo and read the lead story.  I got the basic facts and closed the window, not wanting any more details.  I spent the weekend with Nathan's parents and our little family, not letting my mind rest on the images in my imagination for more than 10 seconds at a time.  I was afraid that if I thought about it or pictured those precious children, their amazing teachers or the forever haunted families for more than that then I would completely lose it and not be able to pull it together.  I went from feeling guilty for feeling like I had any right at all to feel grief to feeling guilty for not doing the victims and survivors justice by becoming enraged.  I'm still not sure where I want to/should be on this spectrum because I'm still honestly dipping my toe into it once in a while.  What I do know is that I hope we can all find a way to contribute to the effort towards making this horrible, worsening pattern slow down it's gathering speed and intensity.  I also hope we can all find a way to continue to live in confidence and happiness even knowing that we can't completely prevent terrible, horrendous things from happening.  I hope we can all find a way to honor these families and victims in an appropriate way and I hope that my gut is right in thinking that one of the best ways to do that is to roll up our sleeves and find ways to contribute to our communities in positive, tangible ways.

I don't know what role I have to play in all of this yet. I don't exactly know how I feel about gun control, other than believing we need to really investigate some sort of change.  I don't know how I can personally help the effort in improving research on metal illness, although you can be sure I'll be on the lookout.  I have this volunteer group with the kids but I don't  see how we can include our young children in the effort without telling them what happened and I'm certainly NOT going to do that.  So, I'm still figuring out how I can help in the big picture but am trying to continue to contribute to my little world here.

After I read the news on Friday, I logged off the computer and took stock of the day ahead.  I was supposed to get some cleaning done to get ready for Nathan's parents' visit, write out a grocery list, etc....then I noticed that the keyboard Zoe and I had talked about dismantling was still sitting next to me, completely intact.  A couple of weeks earlier, she had noticed one of the keys making an interesting sound and was asking why it was acting that way.   I told her we could take it apart to investigate (it's an extra) and she was really excited to, but we just weren't getting to it.  In that moment, as I tried not to imagine the horror in the faces of the victims, I realized that taking that keyboard apart with Zoe and ditching the cleaning was exactly what I had to do.

So, we got started....and we worked at it here and there over the course of a few days....she must have said "Mommy, this is SO fun!" and "Mommy, I love doing this so much!" 20+ times....we not only took the thing apart, keys and all, but we managed to put it all together again too....minus a few pieces, but it's reassembled and the keys are clicking away again.  I know there's a metaphor in there but I'm afraid I'll ruin it if I try to spell it out.  Maybe you can do it for me...or for yourselves... 

Getting started

Discovering what all of those little dots do...

Trying to dig even deeper

Taking off the keys--the toughest part

This was as far as we could go without some heavy duty not-for-children-or-inexperienced mothers tools

Finding a system for putting the keys back in the right places

Methodically working

Last key!  We put the cover back on and everything.  We were both equally proud, happy and satisfied.

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