And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
— Kahlil Gibran
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school tore through my heart and has left me numb these past several days. Like most people I have struggled with feelings of grief and outrage and anger – for the guns and the violence, and for an imperfect mental health system that too often fails the people who need it most.
I’ve gone back and forth about writing anything; so many have already talked about, and written eloquently on the complex issues surrounding this tragedy. I doubted that I could add much to the conversation. My voice is small, my words feeble. What more can there possible be to say?
But, I can’t stop thinking about those children. Those beautiful, beautiful children.
I adore children. I’ve always believed that they are sweet, guileless cherubs put here, not merely to propagate the species, but to remind us that, difficult as the world may be, it is still a place filled with magic and wonder, laughter and light. I marvel at their capacity to love, at their willingness to trust.
When I was nineteen and about to leave home for good, my seven-year-old brother pushed a note under my bedroom door. It said – I love you – just that, but it touched me more than any words have since. That was when I first knew that the world was a better place for all the children it contained. I still have that strip of paper, still curled from my brother wrapping it around his finger before he slid it beneath my door. It reminds me when I forget.
We pin our bright hope for the future on our children. Which is why we are all so gutted by this shooting in particular. So I add my words to the throng, and hope that words do count, and that love can heal what’s broken.