Project 52 [Twenty-Twelve]: Week 50 ~ Untitled

The My Four Hens Project 52 theme this week is Indoors.

But… I have no words to share.

Austin photographer Christmas tree bokeh candle prayer

I ask Dominic to sit in front of the Christmas tree as I light this candle. Tears threaten to spill again (which feels selfish, how dare I cry when my children are safe?). I take a deep breath and steady my camera. Dominic bows his head in prayer when he’s asked to think about what Christmas means to him. I can barely see him as I focus on the candle. Do you see him there? Snap. A moment. So much changes in a moment.

Editing to add that a friend noted Dominic’s pose looks like a peace sign… how appropriate.

I didn’t intend to write anything to accompany this image. There are just no words.

My children do not know what happened yesterday. I have struggled with what to share here on my blog… I write my emotions, it’s how I process things. But this… this is unfathomable, inconceivable, and incomprehensible. And it feels terribly selfish and indulgent to talk about how *I* feel. Yet… I have to write.

I decided not to share a clear image of my children today out of respect for the families. They are facing the deepest pain imaginable and it feels wrong to be publicly acknowledging my blessings. My last thought before sleeping and my first thought upon awakening was for the families of the Newtown children. I have children in elementary school; I also have a child that is about Adam’s age. I have a child on the autism spectrum. Fear grips me, grief envelopes me, helplessness overcomes me. I open my freezer and see Anna’s mini-pancakes… my heart stops for every parent opening their cupboards and seeing their child’s favorite cereal. I trip over Dominic’s shoes in the middle of the floor… and I thank God they are there for me to trip over. I spent real quality time with them today and, of course, hugged them fiercely when they got home from school yesterday. I will not be cross with Dominic when he’s dawdling in the morning or snap at Anna because she won’t get out of bed. Like every other parent in the world who is trying to understand what happened yesterday, there is much I won’t take for granted ever again.

From the deepest part of my humanity, to the parents and families of the Sandy Hook School and to the Newtown community, please know that we all wish this horror wasn’t real, that your children and loved ones will be honored and remembered, that this tragedy will forever change how people parent their children… how I parent my children. I am so very, very sorry.

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