The post I planned for today seemed inadequate after I woke to the news of the shooting in Las Vegas. I was going to talk about something rather personal, and suddenly, it felt too self-centered. When tragedy strikes, we often find comfort in unity. For a time, we are bound by our common shock and our collective mourning. My post would have been inappropriately individual. It can wait for another day.
Plans change. Our morning was supposed to begin with breakfast and school work. Typical. Pleasantly ordinary. Instead, our dogs escaped the fence, and we spent over two hours searching for them, crying, and even making missing posters. One child lost a tooth in the midst of everything. We did find our dogs. We read about the shooting and talked about it. We talked about violence and hurting people. Hurting people and people who hurt. We talked about peace and about anger that sits deep inside a person. These were hard conversations.
We abandoned our plans.
Instead, we had a picnic in the park. We walked to a local historical site and let our imaginations take over. We enjoyed the perfect weather on an October afternoon, commenting on the remarkable blue of the sky. We made note of the leaves just beginning to change and remembered how fleeting autumn color is. What will the trees look like in a week or a month?
My oldest son asked why shootings happen. I don’t have all the answers, of course, and I certainly cannot control what other people do with their hurt and their anger. Heck, I can’t even control my Monday morning that was supposed to be ordinary and predictable with math workbooks and phonics practice. But I can make a little home where peace is a priority–where love comes before all else. I can create gentleness in my kids, hoping that they will pass it along. I can try.