As I sit here and watch Anderson Cooper profile one child after another killed so senselessly in Newtown, CT last week, I feel my heart filling up with tears. Each day since last Friday has been one of sadness for twenty sets of parents who have to learn how to go on without their children and it’s been so hard to get them out of my mind.
Life will never be the same. Not for me, not for any of us. I’m reminded of the shooting daily when I drop my kids off at school and set my eyes on one, sometimes, two police cars, and spot them again on the days when I pick my kids up in the afternoon. Emails keep coming from my school’s principal about new safety measures and it’s hard not to worry when gun control is not yet in place in our country. I’d like to say that I feel safe with the measures being taken at school, but I don’t.
Nothing good can come out of the shooting that transpired last week, nothing. Hopefully, President Obama will create change in a very big way in the next four years and help the U.S. become a safer place to live in.
Last Friday when I picked my children up after school after the news broke out, I gave my children extra tight and long hugs. They didn’t understand why; I didn’t explain. And then the halo effect occurred – as though each of the angels heading to heaven sent me a message on how precious life is. At that moment, I silently vowed to myself to start spending more time with my children. To be more mindful of my time with them and how I spend it.
As a result, in just seven days I’ve grown closer to my children. I’m stopping what I’m doing more readily, closing my computer, putting my work away and am devoting more of my time and mindshare to my kids than before. I don’t want to regret missing this time later in life.
Here are the reasons I want to be a more mindful mother and there is no better time than the present to do so:
To remember what it was like to play with my children; to listen to them read books, to remember the way they speak, to remember what it was like to hold their small bodies close.
To experience less guilt. To be in the moment. To share stories, tell each other about our days, listen and talk to each other.
To experience my children completely and help set them on the right track.
To fully experience being a mother. Time is flying.
To realize again and again and again all that this world has to offer for them, for me, for us.
I can’t get the images of those 20 beautiful children out of my mind, and I suspect that their memories will live in our hearts forever. The news coverage will begin to subside soon, and I will think of them during every waking mindful moment spent.
I’m not saying that I wasn’t at all mindful before, by the way. It’s easy to read between the lines and think that, but I’m on a new path where I’m more concientious of my parenting style. And that’s not a bad place to be.