Guns, God and Babies

I did not intend to use this blog as a sounding post for my views and opinions on the world.  This blog is pretty specifically dedicated to my baby, pregnancy and the parenthood journey.  However, with the recent massacre in Newtown, I can't help but feel the need to say something to commemorate what happened to those kids.

When I first heard the news last Friday, my very first thought was, "I must be freaking crazy to bring a child into this world."  I struggled with that thought most of the weekend.  I couldn't turn off the news.  I texted my dad and he told me to keep optimistic, that the world is still good.  But is it?  The world is just designed to hurt us.  I couldn't shake this feeling that there is no way I can protect my baby.  My little baby, who doesn't know anything other than the warmth inside my body, is going to be hurt.  I can't stop it, I can't prevent, I can't protect it.  How on earth can I leave my kid with a nanny...a daycare...a school...a friend's home and trust that everything will be ok?  Wrapping my child up in bubble wrap, a bullet proof vest and putting ear plugs in their ears will just lead to worse bullying, I imagine.  I really can't imagine losing a child to violence.  It's just so random, so disgusting, and so impossible to predict.

I am so scared to be a parent in this world.  It is absolutely petrifying to me, and more so now.  I've already had anxiety about this pregnancy (health of Nugget being the primary concern), but now I have a whole new world of worries.  How do I instill confidence, bravery, loyalty?  How do I give my child the courage to stand up to bullies?  The stubbornness to believe they are awesome when the world tells them they are not?  To teach them to be a gracious winner and a good loser?  How do I teach them that it's OK to lose?  How do I give them that innate inner strength that would allow them to stand up against someone hurting them, or hurting their friend, and say (as one Newtown boy did), "It's ok, I know karate, I can lead you all out." Do I set by example?  I don't even know if I have those qualities!  How do I raise a child that the world can't hurt?

I'm going to get a bit on my soap box right now, so if you are sick of hearing opinions about the "why", skip to the next paragraph.  (If you haven't yet, please read, "I am Adam Lanza's Mother." Google it. Interesting perspective.).  We have become so used to the idea of "us vs them" that we can't even view the other side as human anymore.  We're only labels. Obama is a black Muslim Democrat who hates whites so clearly everything he says is suspect.  Boehner is a rich-people-loving, NRA gun slinging supporter who doesn't care about the middle class and hates women, so obviously we can't listen to him.  We no longer have the ability to disagree, agree, compromise without turning the other side into an enemy.  This inability to relate to other people, find the good in what they say, come up with a coherent argument against what we disagree with, and find a way to meet in the middle is the "why".  We can't or won't respect each other anymore because we are too busy being afraid of each other or blaming each other.  We can't see the value in a person different from us.  In the end, I don't know what the answer is, and neither do you, and neither does Obama or Boehner or the shooter's dad or brother or the parents of the kids who were shot.  And that is what scares me.  Some people are just damaged, and all of them are trying to hurt someone, and that someone might end up being my baby.

I can't offer prayers, I can't offer condolences or thoughts or anything.  I have nothing to offer those parents that will give them any measure of comfort.  They are going to hurt, to some degree and in some measure, for the rest of their lives.  The pain will not go away.  And I just find myself so desperately hoping that it won't ever be me, that it won't be my family.  I can't ask myself anymore questions.  In the end, I don't want to know "why" because it just disgusts me.  I don't care what happened to you, who hurt you or how much bullying you endured in middle school.  Find a way to overcome.  Find help. Do not hurt my family.  Don't even try it. 

Dear Nugget-
Your mom has no idea what she is doing.  Your dad might...he seems pretty confident.  I don't.  I want nothing more than for you to be happy, healthy and to stay that way for the 100+ years you are going to live until you die gracefully of old age.  I want you to be strong, to be confident, to have the courage of your convictions and the ability to laugh at yourself.  I want you to be brave enough to stand up for yourself and to your friends (like Neville did in Harry Potter, a book series you are going to love so get ready for that).  You are not ever going to know anything other than love in my  household, and you are going to have parents that think that you are the most amazing human to ever walk the face of the earth.  But the world won't always think that about you.  That's ok.  If you believe in yourself, it doesn't matter.  The world might try to hurt you, but you can't let it.  You have to love yourself, and you have to let other people love you.  I can't promise you that nothing bad will ever happen to you, but if I have my way, nothing bad will.  At least, nothing you can't handle.  I can promise you this though-your parents are not ever going to leave you or desert you or stop loving you.  We aren't ever going to think that you are less than a miracle that was created in love.  I'm pretty scared to be your mom, but we're going to be a family and that means we can get through everything and anything.  Love really is the answer-love for yourself and for your family and for your friends and classmates and even the jerk on the bus who throws spit wads at you.  Don't give up on people, and don't stop trusting that they can be good.  They're going to disappoint you, but not always.  Sometimes people can be really, really good.  And you can be good too.  You are 2 inches long when I'm writing this, and your tail only recently vanished, but you are good, you are loved and you are going to love this world, for all its faults.  It can be really beautiful.  I'll show it to you in 6 months.