I find it difficult to believe I am thinking to myself, How terrible. There was another school shooting today. It’s that one word: another. It was not so long ago when the idea of a school shooting was truly unthinkable. I am lucky to be Generation X, the last generation to live without the ridiculous worry that someone will shoot and kill you. In school.
How quickly we adjust, we humans, to every new normal with which we’re presented. Some of the things we adjust to should never be adjusted to. Like school shootings.
How is this okay?
In my own life I’ve adjusted to Jonah living an hour and a half away from me, in ‘the house of the rotating caregivers.’ Is it bad that I have adjusted to it? How is this okay?
I am free of the violence, yes, but also a huge amount of responsibility has been lifted from my shoulders: don’t think I don’t realize and am grateful for that. There hasn’t been this much freedom in my life in a long, long time. And yet I am still so tight, my body bow-strung. Shoulders raised until I bring my awareness back to them, over and over, purposefully dropping them, my neck aching, bones cracking and creaking. Maybe I should start getting massages again.
At any rate it all fades when I listen to my breath, become mindful and quiet, know there is a lifetime of joy in every now, no matter what the now. The operative word in that sentence is when. It isn’t often, but more than before.
And then, at strange intervals of time and in unpredictable instances, it hits me anyway: I am not raising a child anymore. And yet I have a child, this innocent boy, and with Andy I must love him fiercely…help shape his future…nurture him as best we can. I only see Jonah for a few hours every week. Sometimes it doesn’t go well, and I don’t write about it. While I try not to sugarcoat this blog, I do, on occasion, commit the sin of omission.
I forgot my camera this weekend but I got to see Jonah twice, Saturday and Sunday, which was cool. Jonah was nutty – all hyper; crying for no reason one moment, laughing hysterically the next. A random attack at grandma, and a time out on the stairs, him shrieking boobie! boobie! boobie! joyfully. Moe samwich? A bath. M & M? A ride to see train.
The soft request: home?
…and, week after week, our eventual, deliberate surrender to a state of denial about this plea, pretending that by home he means Andy’s apartment. Pretending he is asking for something else. Anything else. Pretending, lest this whole thing break both our minds and hearts. We never bring him to the house or even near it. He’s too geographically savvy and always has been.
Strange things are entering my life lately, and I’m just going with the flow of the river and having some fun swimming along. My path has crossed with some really interesting people, these wonderfully philanthropic souls who truly restore my faith in humanity. They have no idea what they are to me; they are literally my saviors. They don’t realize I need to know that good people are out there doing good things. I have to believe that human hearts are still generous and human kindness is not extinct. My dad feels this too, I think, for he needs to volunteer and has done so his whole life. Right now he volunteers for the Red Cross as a driver; he is a giver, a man who wants to do the right thing. A man with a heart.
They are my heroes. (They, and Guster, who honestly deserves a huge chunk of credit for keeping me afloat).
I don’t know what I’m so worried about. The good guys always win in the end.