Saturday, December 15, 2012

An open letter to my son

My dearest J,

As a mother, my instinct is to protect.  Although my instinct is strong, I feel that yesterday it was taken away from me.  When I came home from my school yesterday I learned of the school shooting in Connecticut.  As I stood in front of the television, I cried for those children that innocently went to school that day only not to return.  I immediately thought of you walking to the bus stop just that morning, as I hugged you and kissed you goodbye, like I do every morning.  I thought of all of those parents that did the same thing to their children, not thinking it was the last time they'd see them alive.

I cannot protect you from everything.  You are twelve years old now, and in a blink of an eye, you will be on your own, living your own life and as a mother, I will worry about you constantly.  I want to protect you, I want to be around you constantly to prevent bad things from happening to you, but as you grow older I realize that I can't do that anymore.  I have to let go, but after days like yesterday, I want to tighten my grip, to protect you from these random acts of violence.

When you came home from school yesterday, I was so happy to see you, as I am every day.  Usually when you come home, I'm upstairs studying, and you always come up to the office to hug me and tell me how much you missed me.  I realize that one day, you won't do that anymore.  I embrace those moments.  Yesterday is proof, they can be taken away in a heartbeat.

But yesterday when you arrived I was in the living room, still watching the news on the school shooting.  You came to me, and I stood up and hugged you so tight, and told you I loved you.  I didn't want to let you go, I wanted to hold you forever.  I debated on telling you the news, but since you are older, I wanted you to know what this world can be like, that it's not always perfect.  I'm always completely honest with you and  I told you exactly what happened, then you and I watched the news together and I looked over at you and saw tears in your eyes.  You didn't understand why, and honestly, I didn't either.  Sometimes things happen in this world that no one can explain.  I didn't have the answer, and I don't think I ever will.  I remember exactly what you said, "Mom, those kids didn't do anything, they didn't deserve to die, they were so young."  You are so right.  For a twelve year old, you are wise beyond your years.

Last night your dad and I had planned on going to his company Christmas dinner.  You didn't want us to go.  You asked that we could all stay together that night, as a family.  We listened to your request.  We went to dinner at your favorite place and you had your favorite meal, a bacon cheeseburger plain with fries.  I listed intently as you spoke of your day, hanging on to every single word.  I knew in my heart that those parents that lost their child that day would give anything to listen to their child talk of their day, just one more time.

As I laid my head down last night, I kept thinking about all of those innocent children that didn't come home from school that day.  I cried again for them.  I had my child home with me, downstairs playing WoW with his dad, alive and well.  Eleven days before Christmas, after all the presents are bought and placed under the tree, you will open yours, those kids won't get the chance.

I love you J, with all of my heart, more than you'll ever know.  You are and always will be my baby boy.  I want you to know that the world we live in isn't perfect, but it's our world, and it's our reality.  For all the violence in the world, there is kindness too, we just don't hear of it as often as we should.  I will protect you for as long as I can, I'm your mother, and although I know it may drive you crazy at times, this is the reason why I am the way I am.  I cannot imagine losing you J, you are my whole world.


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