It's The Holidays, right? So now is the perfect time to bellow out long refrains about peace on earth and goodwill toward man, blah blah blah. I know. With so much happening in this crazy world, dozens of children slaughtered senselessly, random crazies shooting up malls - I can't even imagine where to start spewing my Noels and Night Divines. How my heart breaks for the parents who waited outside of that school. Waited, and waited, watching children pour through the doors - but not their child. How do you ever get past that? What can you ever do to recover. Aspen is 9 years old. She is almost an angelic child. She is smart, adorable, funny - all the promise of an amazing adult. I can only pray that she gets there. What kind of a world do we live in where this is even a thought? Just a century ago parents lived in the constant knowledge that a simple virus could be the undoing of their young child. The only virus that we have no defense against now are the unfathomable selfishness of a generation raised to be served. Every time I hear my teenagers yell at me that is is not their fault, I realize I am guilty of raising them with the same presumption and expectancy for a fair world and an equalized treatment. My 15 year old would like to tell me that she is "a good person" and she shouldn't be disrespected by me or Josh. When did discipline and parental directive become disrespect? My god. How far we have come. How much I have failed. The ultimate extreme of this victimized, self-absorbed mentality, is the kid who shoots up an elementary school because his mommy wasn't nice to him. I cannot fathom it. If there is anything I thank my parents for, it is raising me with the understanding that life isn't fair. It is about sowing and reaping, action and consequence, and developing the knowledge that everyone around me is at least as important as I am myself, if not more. Apparently Adam Lanza never got that memo. I understand mental illness can be a real thing, but so is a spoiled child - Real, and deathly. God forgive my laxity, and my willingness to spare my children from the natural consequences of their actions. I would rather lose all four of my kids to a random flu bug, or scarlet fever, than to have them wind up on either side of an unaccountable gun. I won't even bother with the gun control issue - as if someone crazy enough to kill a 9 year old would really let gun laws get in his way. For god's sake. Get real.
I am so thankful that there is still time, that I can still try to instill in my kids the understanding that only they will be accountable for their actions. That no amount of whining can remove the blood from the hands of a killer. I don't understand what has happened to our culture that makes these massacres so common that we expect them. Somewhere, somehow, some punk kid started a rumor about a shooting at Mt View high school on the 21st. While the cops are chasing down the smart ass who thought this would be a cool prank, we are taking a snow day that day. Is it really important enough to be at school that we will send the message that we don't care? I don't believe there will be any shots fired at Mt. View, but I also don't believe in ignoring even the most stupid warning signs. So my kids will get an extra day of Christmas break. Besides, we still have cookies to make.
My holiday rush has de-volved to the point of almost melancholy. It doesn't help that I've been in a lot more pain lately. I need to re-orient myself and get happy again. There is so much to be thankful for. I love the snow that we finally got, and the cold days, and the Christmas songs and wrapping paper. I love that Dagny the Puppy has unwrapped almost every present I have wrapped and chewed the corners off of every gift box. I am happy that I somehow pulled off all of my holiday shopping and Josh hasn't filed for divorce yet. I am excited for a road trip back to good old Northport and sledding and MIMOSAS!!! with my buddies. I am stoked to break in the new snowboard boots that we got a killer deal on yesterday, even though the experience promises loads of pain. Sometimes, it's just worth it. I am thrilled that I am finally getting some Christmas cards sent, even though the poem is AWFUL this year. Even Josh said so. There are so many reasons to be happy, to be thankful, to make it better. And I will. I am gonna take off my sweatpants, chase my delicious breakfast beet juice cocktail with a sugar cookie and don one of my merry holiday outfits so I can go sell amazing Pendleton presents to excited Christmas Shoppers. How could I not be happy with this ridiculously cute puppy around?