No Regrets

It seems as if recent events have forced me to realize that no one is truly immune to any experience, even small children.  I simply can’t get over the fact that twenty sweet and completely innocent young children were taken from this Earth in such a brutal  manner.  It just sickens me.  My heart aches for the families affected by the recent school shooting.  Having a child in Kindergarten myself, it seems to have made this tragedy all the more horrid.

I just returned from watching Lizzie’s Kindergarten Christmas program at her school.  I had to stop myself from crying as I was watching the adorable 5 and 6-year-olds perform their songs.  It saddens me so much to realize that these sweet innocent children are the same age of the victims in Connecticut.  So small.  So completely innocent.  So full of life and anticipation for Christmas.

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I keep telling myself to stop watching and reading the emotionally evoking news reports regarding the tragedy, yet I am continually drawn to them.  It’s truly heartbreaking to realize that many of the surviving children may never feel  completely comfortable inside of a classroom again.  I am sure that the horrifying images that they were unfortunately exposed to have been forever imprinted upon their hearts and souls.

I have been extra observant this past week as I have been dropping Lizzie off at school in the morning.  I have noticed a lot more lingering hugs from parents to children.  Perhaps a slight, nearly imperceptible moment of hesitation before they bravely place their faith in the public school system and release their children into the safe care of its dedicated teachers and staff.  Truly, I have no doubt that the majority of teachers in every single school in the county would do anything to protect their students, as those brave teachers and administrators proved with their lives in Connecticut last week.

Jon’s a high school teacher.  I asked him what he would do if there was a shooting at his school.  He would, of course, do everything in his power to protect the students placed in his care.  I imagine that any self-respecting adult would do the same.  The only problem with that scenario, however, is that when a teacher doesn’t have a gun (or another method of defending themselves against the perpetrator), then it may be a lost cause.

Statistically, school shootings are extremely rare.  At least, that’s what I keep trying to convince myself of.  Jon claims that we are more likely to have our house robbed in mid-daylight than to have a child involved in a school shooting.  I suppose that I’ll have to try to find some comfort and reassurance in that fact.

At any rate, I have come to the simple conclusion that nothing in life is absolutely certain.  Every decision that we make puts as at risk for one thing or another.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  For anyone.

Having come to that realization, I have made up my mind to put forth an honest effort to enjoy today.  I don’t know about any of you, but I really don’t want to have any regrets should something completely unexpected happen.

I’m going to love my family more fully.  I’m going to be more patient and not care as much about the menial things (like the clutter…everywhere).  I’m going to give more hugs and kisses.  I’m going to forget the mess (for now) and play and play and play.  I’m going to allow my kids the opportunity of helping me cook and clean (even though it takes a lot longer).  I’m simply going to enjoy.

I don’t want to end a single day on a bad note.

Focusing on what matters most seems to have been the principal lesson that I have learned from the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.  The families of the victims are in my thoughts and prayers.  I hope and pray that each of the family members don’t have any regrets and that they ended their time with their child (or spouse, etc.) on a good note.

If we live today to the best of our abilities, we’ll have no regrets tomorrow! 🙂

That’s my goal.

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