I have to get this out there, if only to soothe myself. This has been a time of reflection for me, as I waited to hear word about members of our small Southern Utah community who had run in the Boston Marathon yesterday. Were they safe? Unhurt? And I started to wonder late last night, after I had tucked the monsters in to bed. I purposely kept the news off last night. We played hide and seek. We laughed and sang silly songs. We watched Toy Story for the eleventy billionth time. We had leftover night, which is inexplicably the favorite dinner option for the monsters. And I started to wonder some more.
Late, late last night, I finally tuned in to CNN, after I knew without a doubt that all the monsters were snoring in their beds. The images. The stories. The interviews. The amateur videos. I couldn’t turn it off. I just sat there. Watching. And wondering. I watched some more. I listened some more. I wondered some more.
Then, the next morning, I read a piece from my friend Lori, over at A Day in Motherhood. She titled it “The End of ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ “. And I wondered some more. I’m a mother. I have, by having children and becoming a mother, entered into a sacred vow. A lifetime promise. If you’re a mother, you know what I’m talking about. “I promise with all that I am and all that I have and all that I will be, I will protect you. I will keep you safe. I will be your harbor in the storm. I will be your superhero.” Every day, every minute, every millisecond, we are aware of our sacred vow. From the minute we learn we are to be mothers, we take this vow. We shelter, nurture, teach, protect, shield our children. And, I wonder.
I wonder how I’m going to keep my sacred vow. How can I promise my monsters, my reason for living, my reason for fighting, my reason for nearly every move I make… how can I promise them that I will protect them? How can I promise that I will keep them safe? How can I look into their trusting eyes and vow that I will shield them from harm?
I’m not angry. I’m scared. I fear for our children. It used to be a joke, you know. You “can’t wrap your kid up in bubble wrap and protect them from everything, Mom!” Know what? I don’t want to wrap my monsters in bubble wrap. I’m beyond that. Maybe body armor. But I don’t think there’s a body armor on the market that can protect anyone from bomb shrapnel made of carpentry nails and BB pellets. Certainly not in a size 4T.
An 8 year old died in Boston yesterday. His sister lost her leg. His mother has a brain injury. And you know what? His mother took that sacred vow, too. And there was nothing she could do to prevent the harm. Nothing. Am I hysterical? No. But I wonder. I wonder how it is that the sacred vow is allowed to be taken from us by someone, or a group of someones, who have no regard? Where is the justice?
We teach our children not to hurt others, not to lie, cheat, or steal. We praise them for honesty and helping one another. And then we teach them that there are bad things in our world. And there are sad things in our world. They saw us cry in December when the Sandy Hook shooting happened, our mother hearts aching. We held them closer than we normally do. We explained why our hearts were hurting. And we may have glossed things over, if our monsters are small, into phrases they will understand, without freaking them out.
So while I wonder, I ache. I ache for all of those that were in any way involved in the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings. I ache for the monsters that were there, cheering on family members, and wound up witnessing scenes to rival a war zone. I ache for the mother and father that lost their son yesterday. I ache for the runners, the EMS volunteers, the police and other responders, the doctors, the nurses, the volunteers on the sidelines. There is no reason for this kind of tragedy. There will never be a good enough reason for this kind of tragedy. And I wonder. How will I keep my sacred vow?
P.S. This doesn’t end here… the tears come, and Caryn’s writing about it on her site, Living With Logan.
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