The Sandy Hook shooting happened just before Christmas. Before that the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting. Then there was the Boston bombing. The New Orleans Mother’s Day shooting. And now we’ve had the massive tornadoes in Oklahoma that have taken many people, some of them children, far too soon. Then there was the terrible attack in the UK this week. Did I miss anything? It’s been quite a year for us thus far, and not in a good way. It’s easy to get bogged down by the heinous acts of violence, by nature and man, going on around us.
One of my favorite mommy blogs for comic relief, Baby Sideburns, posted a bit of a retraction this week. She had joked about how her kids were little devils for waking her up early, and one blog follower posted something to the effect of, “I’ll bet there are some parents in Moore, Oklahoma, who wish they would have been woken up early by their kids today.”
Ouch. The blogger, Karen, agreed that she should have thought about it and made sure to say this woman was not an internet “troll” but that, instead, we should all hug our kids a little tighter today. I know I have, although I feel like I’ve been in a months-long embrace ever since Newtown.
That’s the thing — it’s not possible that anything positive can necessarily come from any of these horrible events. But we can learn to look at things differently. To not sweat the small stuff. To try and laugh at the work of art your son just drew on the dog instead of cry about it (a true story in our house). To enjoy when your son decides Eskimo kisses are cool (another true story in our house... hooray!). To take a second to listen... really listen... to the story your child is telling you about his very vivid dream.
Every day isn’t going to be a banner day in the world of parenting. There are going to be tantrums and thrown food and rancid poopy diapers. And there is even a certain Groundhog Day feeling to it sometimes, as though every day is the same. But perhaps the message here is just to take a moment here and there to really look around. To really notice the good and funny and loving things going around you so you can take in the good in your life. As we all know too well, there is enough of the bad to go around.