As I read the alarming news alerts on my phone while walking through a cheerful, holiday-decked mall, my heart sank to the cold marble floor beneath my feet. Who would do such a thing? How did he get in to the school? Why would he do this? The most awful nightmare happened to the families of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, and also to the family of the victimizer.
As I learned more details later in the day, I couldn’t help but wonder what exchange the shooter had with his mother before leaving her dead to go pursue others on his tirade. No one will ever know that conversation. Somewhere, something went wrong and today the community lost 20 children and 6 adults.
Motherhood is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I have ever had. No amount of reading, talking, or babysitting can possibly prepare a new mother for the emotional roller coaster of joys and heartaches that she will experience.
As a mother to a 2-year-old girl with another baby girl soon on the way, my most primary duties right now are to love and feed and keep my babies clean, warm and happy. I have certainly experienced challenges along the way where we are frustrated, overtired and crying. This tragedy is a reminder that my duties as a mother will never end, only will they evolve over time to meet my children’s growing needs.
This weekend, not only will I hold my family a little bit tighter and a little bit longer, but also I vow to listen carefully, share in their joys, guide them through the dark, and help them reach for the stars and achieve their great potential. This is my duty not only for my children, but also for the community in which we live.