Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reflections on the past week

I have a million other things to post about right now, and will hopefully get to some of them by the end of the day, but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the bombings that happened in Boston last week.  I should preface this by saying that I am so grateful that everyone I know was safe from harm.  I am saddened for the families that are dealing with the loss of their loved ones, and for those people who have a long road of rehabilitation ahead of them.  Their suffering trumps any anxiety I have experienced around this, no doubt.

That being said, it was a tough week to be a parent.  Not because of anything the kiddos were doing - if anything I appreciated their quirks and craziness a little more than usual.  But because the whole time the bombings and subsequent manhunt were playing out, I had to work to shield them (mostly Dashiell) from the horrors of what was happening.  I had to act like everything was normal, when in reality there were people suffering and scared just 33 miles away from our house.  People I could easily know or at least have had contact with.  Parts of the city that I have been to were crime scenes.  And there were men who wanted to hurt as many people as they could roaming free for days after it happened. 

I heard about the bombings while bringing the kids to a nearby park for a playdate.  I had very few details, only the radio report that there were two explosions at the marathon finish line.  When we got to the park, everyone else was oblivious.  But you could see it on the faces of the parents as soon as they heard the news.  That glimmer of awareness and shock that something like that could happen so close by, followed by the whispers to other parents, followed by the "everything is fine" mask that we all wore when our kids were watching us.  I know all I wanted to do was rush home and watch the news, but there was no way I could let Dashiell see what was happening, and Aurelia didn't need to have those images on auto-loop in her brain, either.  Then thinking about everyone I know who could possibly be there - it was tough to hold it together and not openly freak out, I'll be honest.

Obliviously playing in the sand the afternoon of the Marathon.  
If only we could all be so lucky.

However, I am thankful that my kids gave me an excuse to NOT watch the news obsessively.  They were a blessed distraction.  And they gave me something else to think about while the world was trying to figure out who on earth could do something so awful.

Two days after the bombings, spending time with Uncle Danny and Aunt Elizabeth at Stone Zoo.

Thankfully the manhunt is over, and Boston is beginning to heal.  We spent Sunday with Rick's family at the Public Garden, visiting the Make Way for Ducklings statues and enjoying the beauty of the city.

I may not live in Boston, but the city is what drew me out here over 15 years ago, and the people I've met have kept me here (happily!).  I am proud of the people here who jumped at the chance to help those who needed it, and of the law enforcement officials who worked so hard to put an end to this saga.  There are truly good people in the world, and this week was a reminder that they - the good people - outnumber the bad.

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