Remembering Newtown

December 14, 2014

newtown_vigil2

Last week I lost my three-year-old son in the library for 60 seconds. If you are a parent, you know that when your child is lost, seconds are minutes and minutes are hours. A slow motion nightmare.

When I found him, his face was covered with tears, a panic on his face I’d never seen. “There’s your mom!” exclaimed the librarian, shaming me.

In my arms, his hysteria only heightened. I thought I lost you. I thought I lost you. I couldn’t find you anywhere! he repeated over and over again, tears streaming down his face.

“You can never lose me,” I lied. “I am always with you, I will never leave you. Nothing bad will ever happen to you.”

+

Two years ago today, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School while the rest of us Christmas shopped and fought with our mothers. It knocked us over as a nation, as parents, as people who try to convince ourselves that schools are safe and people are mostly kind.

To be perfectly blunt, the sickness of it was almost too much to bear. Some of us turned off our TVs, changed the subject, kept Christmas shopping. Others of us were paralyzed with fear and grief. We couldn’t turn off the news or keep from repeating their names.

We wept for days.

+

This past fall, my friend Suzie passed a mother putting her young son on the schoolbus for the first time. His frame was small, his backpack too big for his body. She watched as the mother said goodbye, holding back her tears.

She said, “It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen.”

Today we remember Charlotte and Daniel. Rachel and Olivia. We remember Josephine, Ana, Dylan, and Dawn. Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, and Jesse. James, Grace, Anne, and Emilie. We remember Jack and Noah. Caroline and Jessica. Avielle, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria. We remember Benjamin. We remember Allison.

We remember their lives, whisper their names.

In sorrow, may we find peace. In grief, some small joys.

We hold their families in the light today.

***

|Image Source|

When Babies Get Bigger (Evie Turns One)

December 13, 2014

IMG_0905-2

Eva was born on a cold December morning. The room was quiet. There was snow on the ground.

Her dad delivered her. I pushed for ten minutes and when Austin put her in my arms, I couldn’t believe she was mine. She was nothing like what I imagined. She felt startling, heavy, so different from her brother.

I couldn’t stop staring. She was so beautiful.

IMG_4135IMG_4130

IMG_5537

One year later and I know nothing more about parenting two kids than I did about parenting one kid, except that every day is new. Just keep swimming. When you know better, do better.

First birthdays are hard. Even though we know they will grow older, get bigger, start brushing their own teeth–there is always a part of us that fights for their smallness, mourns the loss of their newborn smell. Even though we know that they won’t always lie helplessly on our chests or coo at ceiling fans, it always hurts to let go.IMG_0568

People ask what it is like to have a daughter, and I don’t really know yet. Waylon is Waylon and Eva is Eva. They are so different in every single way.

If I had to pick an adjective to describe her it would be wild. Wild and full of ernest joy. I am Marmee and she is Jo, independent from the very first breath. A bright and happy dream.

IMG_0795

Every year when we tell her about the day she was born, I hope we remember how quiet it was. How the love we felt filled the room. How even in those first moments, I knew she was different in the very best kind of way.

IMG_0829

We named her Eva which means life, the first woman, the creation of a soul. Her dad thought of December, my favorite month of winter. A time of magic, of heartache, of healing. A time of astounding joy.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, fierce, and joyful little girl. We love you so.

+

***

Birthday crown and banner by Little Love Lane on Etsy.
Use the code kb10 for 10% off your purchase.

More on Evie’s Blog

Birth Story

Extended Video

IMG_070801IMG_0703-2 IMG_0745 IMG_0746 IMG_0747 IMG_0749 IMG_0755 IMG_0767cake IMG_0805 IMG_0823 IMG_0824IMG_0856 IMG_0899 IMG_0905 IMG_0921 IMG_0926 IMG_0929 IMG_0934 IMG_0947 IMG_0952