It’s Tuesday, and I have a lot of things that I should be doing. Instead, I’m getting by with the bare minimum. I remembered to drop off cupcakes for 8th grade play practice. I sent a report on upstream and handled some personnel matters. I even called the doctor to make a check up appointment for one of the kids.
Aside from that, I’ve spent a great deal of time today with CNN on; listening, waiting for more information about the tragic deaths at Virgnia Tech. As a proud graduate of the University of Virginia, I have spent a good bit of time rooting against Tech at sporting events and even saying bad things about them. But today, my thoughts aren’t any place else but with the students and their families and their professors. I feel so sad for everyone. It’s such a tragedy. It’s so hard to contemplate that life is going on like normal for all of us, but not for them.
This morning, I hugged the 16 year old hard before I let him go at the bus stop. He patted my head and mumbled something sort of consoling and ambled off to the bus. I double checked to make sure that the 8 year old had her good ballet shoes, the comfortable ones that let her point nicely, before she left for school. I forget to double check her shoes a lot of the time. And I was overjoyed to see my baby at lunch. So sweet. So cute. He melts into you when you hug him. At 4, he still thinks his mama hung the moon. And my 14 year old? Well, I spent a lot of time wondering how I’m going to stand being 1,000 miles away from him when he goes off to school next year. I have no idea how I’ll find that in me.
For the rest of today, I’m trying to go on with all the little things. I’ll go home and put red beans and rice on the table for dinner. I’ll give the little kids their baths and read our favorite story books, Albion Pig and Pelle’s New Suit. I’m going to knit on my market bag, cast on to swatch for my Purple Rain socks, and maybe even ponder the fate of the Anny Blatt yarn I showed you last week, which I think is destined to become a mini-Clapotis for summer. I’m going to do all the little things one does when trying to assert normalcy.
But I feel a bit more vulnerable than I did before the shootings at Tech. I feel sadder. I feel old. I’m grateful for my own children’s safety, but I feel guilty for thinking like that in the face of the tragedy so many other families are facing. Still, I’m enormously grateful for what I have today.