Yesterday morning, I sat on the fluffy carpet of my daughter’s room listening to her squeaky, high-pitched voice “read” her books, staring at the images as she turned each page. I was in her world – a place of dress-up and make believe, filled with sparkles and music, where the worst thing that happens is nap time when she’s not ready. I couldn’t help but feel calm and content sitting there.
Of course, my mind wandered (as it usually does) and I immediately thought about everyone affected by the tragedy that hit Las Vegas last week and how they were feeling polar opposite of what I felt while playing with my daughter. I thought about the concert attendees, performers, crew and all of their families and friends and how they’ve likely been living in fear, sadness, shock and horror ever since. Emotions I can imagine are so deep and scarring. Emotions nobody deserves to feel.
And then I turned my attention back to my daughter with her sweet, innocent mind playing along. In her world, the other children she passes are automatically her friends, going anywhere is safe and fun, and the world is always a happy place. See, she doesn’t know evil. She’s never experienced malice. She doesn’t know what murder is, let alone mass murder and right now, she doesn’t ever have to fathom how one person could ever commit such a hideous, cowardly act.
It absolutely breaks my heart that everyone affected had to live through this nightmare my daughter doesn’t even know exists right now. Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, I think we can all agree that something like this should never happen. And while I don’t have the answers, something clearly needs to change because tragedies like this have been occurring for as long as I can remember.
I hate the thought of knowing that one day my daughter will be exposed to evil like this. I’m not sure I’ll ever know what to say when she asks about tragedies that have affected our nation. What I do hope to tell her is that both her dad and I tried to make a change and get involved because we never wanted her to live in fear. We never wanted her to have to be afraid to go to school, travel, watch a movie in a theater or see her favorite band live in concert.
While I’m not sure what will happen in her lifetime, I want to do all that I can to make sure all of the above and more are joyful moments she looks forward to. I want her to know there IS good in the world and that people fought to make her future safer. I want to look back at my life knowing that I did what I could to make sure my kids feel safe because I have many opportunities to get involved, and so do you.
Being on the outside looking in, it’s easy to feel hopeless and very angry, which is not half of what any of the victims or people affected are feeling. While I wasn’t there in that moment, this tragedy stirred something up in me and I hope it did for you too. Get involved with an organization you’re passionate about – if not for yourself, for you children and their children, and so on.