I started the day with the very best snuggle. Little girl snuck into our room, peeked at us with eyebrows lifted and sweet smile, and said, “I want a mommy and daddy snuggle.” She crawled into “big bed” and she wiggle-fit herself perfectly into the space my arms and legs make.
She nuzzled her face into my neck, and smiled so big I could feel it without having to peek. We laid there, her eyelashes fluttering against my neck, her little breaths swelling my heart more than I could bear, for about 15 minutes.
Then, she went off to school, and I went off to work, where I found out there was another school shooting today, close to home, affecting a dear friend from college, and in my sister’s town.
I work with the emotionally, socially, and behaviorally affected, and today, my son told me “no Katie, yes mommy.” (Miss Katie is our nanny. He calls her Play Play Katie.) I responded with, “Son, I have to go to work and help the kids.”
But sometimes I cannot help the kids. My heart aches, and my eyes burn, and it’s hard to swallow. Maybe tonight or next week I will cry. Sometimes I don’t. Right now, I am cherishing that snuggle.
I am remembering I can’t keep bad from happening. I can’t promise myself anything. I can only be available and receptive to these little moments, gifts of reassurance that I have made myself into a proper lily pad, where little frogs can come for nurturance, to refuel their tiny but mighty strengths, and weather a storm if they opt to.
I can focus on that, and keep holding my end of the magical string connecting kids to moms, allowing them to come and go as they please, and silently hope for their safety when they are out there in this deeply hurting place.