When I first heard of what was happening in an elementary school in CT on Fri it was still a breaking news report. There wasn't much info except to say that 3 people had been taken to a hospital. I searched a few news websites but at that time there wasn't anything else about the shooting. I thought that if people were out of the school and taken to a hospital it must mean it was over. I hoped that was the extent of the injuries and prayed that those 3 people were going to recover.
I then started a home-project-woodworking-type of kit with Lucas. It took us over an hour to work on that. That was when my mom called to ask if I heard about the shooting. I said I heard about the 3 people taken to the hospital and that is when she said, "and the 18 children that were killed." My mind couldn't grasp what she was saying; surely there was a mistake. Surely this was a rumor and misinformation. She said a whole class was unaccounted for. I thought that didn't mean they were all killed; maybe they hadn't made it out of the school yet - because it was unthinkable that 18 (now known to be 20 as 2 of the 3 people taken to the hospital were children who also died) kids could have actually been killed in their classrooms.
I got online and turned on the TV to see they were confirming that 18 of the dead bodies in the school were children. I sat there, as I imagine most everyone else was doing, stunned, shocked, horrified, and saddened with tears running down my cheeks.
How? How could someone shoot all those young children? It's incomprehensible. And even if a 'motive' is determined, there is no justifiable reason for anyone to do such a horrendous act.
Lucas sat snuggled up next to me on the couch with his head on my arm. He asked a few questions about what he was seeing on TV (mainly if all those guys (the FBI/police) had guns). I knew he probably shouldn't watch but I couldn't turn the TV off.
Like parents everywhere I couldn't wait for Kayla to get home from school so I could give her a big hug.
Kayla can be affectionate, but not overly-so. When she is happy to see someone she will run up to them and give them a big hug, but she isn't what I would call a cuddler. She doesn't typically sit in our laps or snuggled up to us on the couch.
When she got home from school I gave her my usual half-hug arm-around-her-shoulder greeting in the driveway. Then when we got in the house and she took her backpack off, I got down on my knees and pulled her to me. I hugged her to me and kept telling her I loved her so much and brushing the hair back from her forehead.
She must have sensed that I needed this. I needed to hold on to her and hug her a little bit more than usual. Because by then she would have pulled away from me saying something like, "Mom! What you doing?" with a giggle in her voice. This time she stayed perfectly still and quiet in my arms and let me hold her. She didn't try to pull away.
She finally whispered to me, "Why you sad?"
I tried to explain to her why the whole world was sad that day.
And today, we continue to grieve for who we now know are 20 first-graders, just 6 and 7 years old, and 6 adults at the school, and the mother who was killed before the shooting at the school started.