Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank God, I've never known.

This week has been filled with talk of violence.  A terrible tragedy occurred in Connecticut, minutes from where I grew up.  Many of my cousins attended school in Newtown, and are thankfully grown.  I've read dozens of facebook posts from friends who have been so shaken by the news, even though they live hundreds or even thousands of miles away.  I've struggled to figure out why I wasn't more affected by it on a personal level.

I can only say that I am thankful.  Thankful to not really have felt the pain or fear that so many of my friends have felt just from watching the news unfold.  Someone mentioned to me in court this afternoon that, with kids at the ages mine are, I must be terrified.  My reply seemed to surprise those in the conversation, no, I am not afraid.

Perhaps it comes from having a spouse in law enforcement.  Every night, he leaves, off to a dangerous place where bad guys have guns, knives, are high on drugs, and people act out of desperation, anger, or just because they are damaged souls.  If I ever really let myself think about what Big Man deals with on a daily basis, I'd probably never sleep, as I would be filled with worry.  So I don't worry, I can't let myself worry.  I kiss him goodbye each night, tell him I love him, and think of other things.

One night the doorbell rang at around midnight.  It was then that I worried.  Called out of a sound sleep by the doorbell when your husband is a cop is the worst way to wake up.  I watch TV--they only come to your house to give you the kind of news you can't deliver over the phone.  It was the longest and most horrible trip downstairs I have ever made.  Every possible nightmarish scenario ran threw my head as I unlocked the deadbolt, tears in my eyes.  And then I saw a man with a pizza carrier walking across my driveway to my neighbor's house.  It was then that I sobbed.  I called the Big Man, crying, professing my profound fear, my utter love, and my thankfulness that it was just the wrong doorbell.  I hope mine is always the wrong doorbell.

Perhaps it is because I've never had to leave my children anywhere.  Sure, we've got the twice a week sitter, but she only watches my children in her home.  I've never needed a swiper card to get in, or had to provide a list of authorized people to pick up my children.  I've never had to leave them somewhere where the doors locked automatically behind me.  I've never had to worry about the place and the people that are caring for my children.  I am thankful.  Thankful because I can't imagine what it must have been like to know something terrible was happening in a place my children were, in a place where dozens of safety measures, and locks and cameras, and adults were, but couldn't keep them safe.

Because like every parent, I love nothing more than to see the sunlight through my son's hair.
To have a silly family dinner with all three of my little monkeys.
And to see how happy it makes them when they receive unexpected gifts.
Thank God, I've never known.  Thank God, I'm not afraid.

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