The news, oh the news.  

The news makes me cry and sick to my stomach.  I first see the news yesterday during my planning period.  Friends at work have family in that town--with children attending a preschool across the street from that very elementary school.  As we're talking, I see her day has washed all of the makeup from her eyes, and I'm transported back to Sept. 11th--the emotions of waiting to see if my uncle was safe, looking at the faces of my innocent students, and trying to put it all together to maintain order for them.

Thank goodness my friends' children were safe at home last night.  

I gather all of my tears in my eyes as I look at the pictures of the children in lines.  Walking hands to shoulders with police escorts.  A child is crying open-mouthed.  The horror is evident on her face.  The slide changes and I see a woman desperate to see if her sister is alive.  Her mouth is also open with the anguish only agony, fear, and love can bring.  

I read that it was a lot of sweet kindergarteners that have been ushered to Jesus.  Their lives cut too short.  I think of their classmates and how they will be forever affected by this day.  I cry as I listen to the President speak of the event.  In times like these, political lines are erased and we all feel this pain together.  As parents, as Americans, as human beings.  

I am angry at the state of this world, I am horrified for those children's parents, and I imagine my life without my sweet kindergartener. I spend a lot of time just watching her.  Thinking of the parents who were no longer watching their children. 

I think about my third grader.  Her classmates already know about Santa and too many other things about life.  I'm not ready to discuss this with her, but I don't want her to hear it from them.

It's too much.  

I watch the news briefly when we come home from the school as my children are busy playing in their room.  I see the same photos, watch the numbers creep up, and I develop a large headache.  I change the channel and watch old 'Friends' episodes to keep my mind from the images.  I order pizza and let my kids play on the computer a little longer.  I do everything to distract myself from the sadness that threatens our country.  I go to bed early and think about all the trivial things that I need to do in the coming days.  None of them really matter in the scheme of things.  

I pray I can protect my children from this news.  I pray that I can show them that Hope is not a wish for a toy on December 25th.  This Hope is not a fingers-crossed and blowing on a candle.  This Hope resides deeper within our souls.  A Hope that drives us to keep moving forward when the world is crashing all around us.  This Hope reminds us that a Savior will one day return to this world, fix all of our broken hearts, and gather our aching souls.     

A thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees.

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