The day our schools bled

Getting Z ready for school is often a rush job. I’m sleepy, impatient, and on the clock. Z is sleepy, cranky, and lately, unwilling to wear a jacket even when she’s shivering from cold.

Not a good combination at any time of the day – let alone at 6 am.

But this morning, I sent her off with more love, patience, and kind words than I’ve managed to muster since school opened. She knew something was different. She knew I wasn’t myself. And she understood enough to ask to wear her jacket – on a day when I finally decided to just wrap her in a shawl as we waited for her school bus instead of insisting she wear her jacket.

Nothing I say can bring solace to the mothers of the children martyred yesterday. Or to the fathers whose children were shot to death because they dedicated their lives to their country.

How do you console a parent who’s outlived their child? How do you live with the helplessness of it all? And how do you deal with the guilt at being thankful that it’s not you – that your child is safe and sound? That you aren’t the parent who outlived your child?

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