I am still awake at 2:17 am Central Standard Time because I am wrapping gifts. Gifts for my dear friends, for my wonderful parents and their equally wonderful spouses, for my amazing in-laws. For my nieces. For my nephews.

And for my daughter. My precious, precious child who is safe, upstairs in her bed.

Oh, thank god— thank fate— thank— whatever you choose, but thank it loudly, and with tears of relief and so much sorrow.


I cannot get Leonard Cohen’s Anthem out of my head. I remind myself often of that poignant lyric, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” It reminds me to accepts flaws, wounds, and breaks. To embrace the beauty of this life, even when it unfolds so differently than I imagine.

And today, it is just so damn wrong.

There is, yes, a crack.

But there is no light.


I wish, dear child, I could wrap up safety. I wish I could tie a ribbon on your adolescence and put a bow on your ripe old age. Alas, I have books, toys, and that cheetah sweater you asked for. I can only hope and pray and hope and pray and pray and pray and pray for those other gifts.


A wise man often tells me tomorrow is never guaranteed. I know that and I hate that, and tonight it feels too real.

About The Mamahttp://kidlingville.comProfessional talker, editor, emailer, problem solver, adjunct lecturer, blogger, and mother to the brilliantly absurd Kidling.

34 thoughts on “no

  1. Heart wrenching! Hearing about it broke my heart because I have two kids that I am not raising and can’t keep safe. My greatest fear is they will become victims of this type of senseless violence. God bless the poor families who mourn today.

  2. Beautifully said. While you were still wrapping presents, my little one had woken up and while I usually settle her back down in her crib, I put her in the bed with me where she scooted close to me and fell immediately back to sleep. I lay there watching her breathe and being thankful…oh so thankful. My heart goes out to those parents whose hearts are irreparably broken.

    • Thank you for sharing this tender, vulnerable moment. I am so, so glad your girl is safe with you.

      Alice is the child who always groans when The Dada and I show up at pre-school at the end of the day because she is having too much fun to want to come home. Yesterday, for whatever reason, she sprinted over to me and held on for dear life. I wasn’t about to let go.

    • Oh Lori, I know. I keep thinking about it and choking up. I swear everywhere I took Alice today, parents were holding their children a little tighter, hugging them a little longer.

      • You too.

        When this happened, I was in our state Capitol asking legislators to support and assault weapons ban. An aide told us the news.

        This was my first day volunteering to end gun violence, but not my last!

        People are writing such beautiful moving posts. Thank you for yours. I feel a sea change coming in this country.

        • Kylie, I sincerely hope you are right. I genuinely hate guns, even though I know they are necessary in select circumstances. That said, I hope a candid discussion about mental health will parallel the gun debate. They are both so, so important.

    • You are welcome.

      I keep thinking how easily the day goes when I don’t think of it, but I have the luxury of letting moments pass without recalling the horror. For so many, that will never be possible.

  3. Exquisitely written as always. You have beautifully managed to put into words what so many of us are feeling. So, ditto to you my dear friend.
    Holding on just a little tighter for a little longer…

    • Oh, Cris. Thank you, dear. Hold tight until they wiggle and tell you to cut it out. Then give them a second to breathe and grab another hug. Only love gets us through.

  4. Reblogged this on Just Your Everyday Empress and commented:
    I love this blog and after everything that happened the other day, I still keep looking at Lil’ Bit and being so grateful to have her with me and my heart still hurts for all of the parents who don’t have their babies and even worse that we can’t and probably won’t ever be able to understand…

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