You’d have to have been living under a rock if you missed all of the social media reactions to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Even the mainstream news sources covered some of the most viral online activity.
If I’m going to be completely honest, I have to admit that I’ve been doing my best to find a rock big enough to live under.
When I found out, I just cried. I cried on my husband, and cried when I took a shower, and I cried when I was by myself in the car. As soon as I logged onto Facebook, I knew I was going to have to avoid it for the rest of the day. All of the reactions were what you would expect: anger, sadness, gun control protests, gun control support, cries for love and cries for God.
Those were all to be expected, and for the most part, completely natural. The reactions that I simply couldn’t handle reading, no matter how natural they were, however, were the ones of hopelessness. I don’t know how many times I read the phrase “I’ve lost my faith in humanity.”
When I started seeing those, I had to start hiding every Sandy Hook-related post I saw, regardless of whether they were heartbreaking or inspirational.
You see, I’m about to have a baby. In less than two weeks. I can’t be reading posts proclaiming that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. So I hide them. I’ve said my prayers for the children and their families, and I’ve thought about them every day… but right now, I’m bringing a baby into that handbasket people are talking about, and I absolutely cannot accept that that basket is going anywhere but up. Call me naïve, call me ignorant, but I refuse to accept that there is no hope for humanity. You won’t get any logical argument out of me about this, either: I simply cannot accept it. I can’t afford to accept it.
I know that this incident has brought up issues that absolutely need to be dealt with. I know that certain things desperately need to be changed in order to prevent more horrifying situations like this from happening. What I have to focus on right now, however, is that more than ever, we need hope.
I need hope.
And right now, I’m finding hope when I tuck Charlie in at night, and when Paul and I watch the baby in my stomach dance around. I have to focus on what is beautiful and good and right in front of me, otherwise I’ll lose myself in anxiety and fear.
One of my least favorite blogging habits is the use of popular media as inspiration for a post… but I’m going to break one of my personal rules here. Some of the last lines in the Christmas episode of Castle ended up being exactly what I needed to hear. In the final segment, one of the homicide detectives revealed his fear of bringing a baby into the world, after seeing all of the horrific things that are in it. The other detective responded with this:
“The world’s always falling apart, bro, since the beginning of time. But having kids, making a family, that’s what keeps it together.”
And that’s what I needed. I know that there are very serious issues out there that need to be dealt with, but what I need – right now – is hope. I’m less than two weeks away from having a baby, and I refuse to let the first look it sees on its mother’s face be one of hopelessness and fear.
Lauren Bonk is an Omaha mom who is married with one child and another one the way. Read her Fridays on Fruita Moms.