After waking up this morning and being thrown off by a change of plans, I decided to be productive and clean the house. I let The Robug indulge in various TV shows and kept myself busy so I didn’t have to be bothered by the annoying voice of Goofy and inane chatter of Elmo. How quickly my attitude was put in check today.
I’ve completely lost the small bit of appetite I had and have to blog to keep myself from completely losing it. Sitting here watching the coverage of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut with tears streaming down my face, I am thanking God that my daughter is too young for school, that I am no longer a teacher, that it’s far away, for every blessing in my life. And I’m questioning why this occurred, why the twenty children in China were stabbed, why the mall shooting in Oregon, why do these horrific events continue to happen? What is wrong with our society that a person thinks barging into a school and killing TWENTY BABIES is the answer to his problems?
I’m angry, I’m devastated, I’m thankful, I’m humbled, I’m disgusted…the emotions are endless because I cannot possibly allow myself to put myself into the shoes of parents who will not see the excitement on their child’s face Christmas morning when she sees Santa has come. It overwhelms me and brings me to tears. The absolute heartbreak is so unfathomable to me because I have never lost a child. Anyone who is a parent is feeling this today because of the fact that most of victims are kindergartners-five and six year olds, truly innocent and still babies, JUST starting their lives. Oh my God, I cannot fathom being in those parents’ shoes. And to have to be in the shoes of all the other students and parents of Sandy Hook Elementary–I wouldn’t choose that either. I can only pray for everyone involved and hope that we, as a society of American people, can find a way to prevent this from EVER happening again.
Is it the time to talk about gun control? Yes. Is it time to put political party bullshit to the side for the sake of safety. Yes? But is that discussion enough? Unfortunately, my opinion is no-not even close. These types of horrific events don’t happen JUST because guns are available. The deterioration of our society, in general, is a HUGE catalyst for sickening tragedies. There was a time in American history when this WOULD NOT have happened, and people had guns then. Call it nostalgia, but there is more to it. It was a time when people had morals and values and held them close to heart. I’m not preaching religion–peoples’ beliefs are very personal. I consider myself a Christian, but I’m not a holy-roller. I’m simply calling for a return to common sense, the value of hard work, decency, and kindness and compassion–basics of any religion, regardless of beliefs.
Our society is rotting, too motivated by greed and too obsessed with material things and too ready to chip away at innocence, modesty, and any sense of decency. As we have become more technologically reliant and media-obsessed, we have become less willing to put in hard work, reach out a hand in kindness, and hold true to a sense of privacy and modesty. And, because of this, the moral fiber that tied our country together is quickly fraying.
We need to do something about the gun problem, definitely, but we have to have a deeper, more serious discussion about the real cause of the problems our society is facing. Guns, drugs, crime–these are all symptoms of a much larger problem. There are people out there who are trying to change society by changing the way they raise their children–by protecting childhood and its innocence by limiting and censoring what their children use to see and hear the outside world. My husband and I consider ourselves a part of the change. Some may call it being over-protective (I felt good today that my mom told me that I wasn’t being over-protective, helped me keep perspective); others may say it’s being too much an authoritarian (I would have said that before I had kid(s)–now I understand why I heard “No” from my parents so much–thanks, Mom). We see it as allowing our daughter (and soon-to-arrive son) to have as pure and innocent a childhood as we can provide because they will have to deal with the horrors of the real world all too soon.
Life and society are not the same as they were when our parents raised us 30+ years ago, and it wasn’t the same then when our grandparents raised our parents. However, I have to argue that our society is significantly more dangerous because of the excessive access to anything and everything a heart could desire (or any terrorist could desire, or any pervert could desire–**SIDE NOTE: on the topic of perverts, when looking for inspiration for Robug’s knickers, I did a Google Image search for “toddler girls knickers.” Oh my God, I was appalled–it was a pedophile’s dream come true…the availability of anything and everything on the internet…simply frightening.) My mother was wary of the internet from day one as well as allowing cable TV in our house–I get it now (and I’m sorry I was such a bitch about it, mom).
I contest, as well an many other bloggers and parents out there, that it is harder being a parent today than it was 30 years ago, 50 years ago, etc…my parents used to let us play outside until the streetlights came on; I don’t even want to take my eye off my kid at the park because now crazies try to snatch them in broad daylight. It’s our job to protect our kids and make choices for them because they do not have they psychological capabilities to process the complexities of our world. Why do we continue to make it harder on ourselves by taking the easy way out and letting kids do whatever they want at whatever age it’s not appropriate instead of taking a bigger initial step (that has the potential to be harder) and saying “No” and limiting exposure to mature and complex things (like the ‘net) so that we can reform the moral fiber of our society.
Today is a very sad day, made even sadder because of the time of year. I’ve tried to be less of crazy-pregnant mommy today and tried to appreciate life a little more. My heart and prayers will continue to be with the families devastated by today’s senseless rampage. And, I can only hope that an honest discourse commences that tackles the current symptoms of our society’s problems and goes beyond the symptoms to the heart of the problem.
As always, thanks for reading and giving me–today a horrified and grieving parent–an outlet.