This is what I woke up to this morning. Late last night, we heard what I thought was someone dropping something heavy into the back of a pickup truck. What happened was a guy on the next street, who had many mental issues and was very much the oddball in the neighborhood - think a suburban unabomber - blew himself up (not known whether intentionally or accidentally) and left other unexploded pipe bombs around his house. All of my neighbors across the street were evacuated last night and police, fire, hazmat, FBI, and news trucks covered our neighborhood all day long. A police car was parked directly in front of my house, blocking the street, for the better part of today.
Then, after the kids went down for their nap, and right after our neighborhood drama had started to subside, I started seeing facebook posts about the Boston Marathon. Literally 15 minutes after I saw my brother post pictures of the marathon as he and his family sat watching on part of the course, I saw posts about the bombings. And watched the news with a growing sickening feeling all afternoon long. It was a horror movie on a loop.
When women are pregnant, they are often asked 'How can you bring a child into this world, with all of this hate, madness, destruction, war, etc. etc?' It is a legitimate question I think, one that I have posited to myself on occasion. And occasions like today certainly validate the question, and give me pause.
I obviously do not regret having my kids, but how do I protect them from things like this? And I have to realize, I don't, and I don't want to. I don't want a hair on their heads to ever be touched, but this crap, this madness - it's a part of this world. They will know it exists, but they will also know that abounding goodness exists, that some people are evil, but most people are amazing. I want them to know that while events like these will make their heart hurt, their heart will hurt from wonderful things also, from having too much love and pride and joy to hold. I want them to learn that while their eyes will see ugliness that they didn't know existed, their eyes will also make them gasp at a dazzlingly white snow covered forest, or an ocean that falls off the end of the earth, or the sky right after a rainstorm, or the first red leaf of fall, or their first look at their children.
I can bring kids into this world because within three hours after this horrific event, there were over 700 people offering rooms, sofas, futons, food, water, car rides, whatever, to strangers in need. I can bring kids into this world because there will always, always, be more people running towards chaos to help then people running away. I can bring kids into this world because runners ran right through the finish line and on toward the hospital to give blood. I can bring kids into this world because even before little girl was born, there were mamas lining up to feed her, to help people they didn't know. I can bring kids into this world because now I know, after this past year, that there is so much blinding beauty to behold, that there is more love than hate, that there is magic.