Tonawanda News


December 20, 2012

Hugging your kids is the only answer


Tonawanda News — The last time I broke down in tears in a newsroom, it was Sept. 11, 2001. 

That day was appalling, world-changing, but it was almost surreal. My overactive imagination is all-too-willing to provide me with the details of the Sandy Hook massacre. I’ve been in too many elementary school classrooms, you see. I can picture ... things I don’t want to picture. 

I know how excited my two little hooligans are for Christmas day. I imagine the kids in Sandy Hook Elementary were just as excited. 

I have to go home tonight and wrap Christmas presents for those two little boys. How many presents are already wrapped for kids who will never open them? There are hundreds of those kinds of questions. 

And no good answers.

The rhetoric started flying pretty quickly after the full horror of what happened Friday began to come out. Gun control. God in schools. The role of the media. I’m a little ashamed to admit I waded into the fray myself, words flying in anger, before making myself back away and acknowledging that we’re all just trying to deal with this in our own way. I may not agree with what others believe would make a difference, but to each their own.

No one wants another Sandy Hook.

I made myself read a list of the victims today, complete with photos. It seemed like the least I could do, to remember them. I can’t help but hold my boys’ school pictures up in my mind’s eye and shudder a little. It was hard sending them off to school this week. 

Charlotte Bacon, 6, loved animals and zoo. Daniel Barden, 7, played the drums. In a photo, he’s missing his two front teeth, just like my 8-year-old. Olivia Engel, 6, was going to make a gingerbread house that day. Josephine Gay, 7, loved purple. 

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