One life is no more important than another, really. I mean, when you break it down, everyone is someone's baby, mother, brother, sister, father. So my heart was broken when my husband told me about the heinous shooting in Connecticut. But I went into self desensitization mode. Maybe I could have been an emergency responder or surgeon in another life because I seem to possess the ability to shut off the empathetic/sympathetic portion of my brain and go about my daily life. I'm throwing my boys a Christmas party tonight and the bathroom needs to get cleaned, after all. And I don't exactly want to tell my kids what happened so, perhaps, I need to carry on like nothing did. If I let my mind wrap around the horror of bloody children lying dead in a classroom, I might as well curl up into the fetal position and refuse to ever get out of bed again.
Because this world is evil. So evil that I sometimes can't stand being a part of it.
But then my mom told me that it was being reported that these were students in one classroom. One kindergarten classroom. I look with wet eyes at my kindergartner and realize that this now hits way too close to home. No one life matters more. A dead fourth grader is an absolutely devastating atrocity and I shouldn't be able to clean a bathroom in the wake of such a tragedy. But I heard "kindergarten" and the air caught painfully between my lungs and the world.
I don't know those children. They live a long way away from here and our paths have not crossed. But I know Grayson, Carter, Rylan, Katherine, Mason, Addaly, Brooklyn, Juan, Tony, Brayton, Sydney and the rest of Mrs. A-----'s kindergarten class. I know their sweet smiles, their blonde curls, their purple snow boots that slip on the linoleum when it gets too wet. And I know Garrett. I know how he felt inside of me and I knew when my husband severed my son's umbilical cord that I couldn't protect him from this terrible, awful world. Not really, anyway. And so I can't help but imagine the innocent faces of Mrs. A----'s AM kindergarten class suddenly being blotted from this earth. I don't know the children from Sandy Hook Elementary, but I'm certain the world is a dimmer place without them.
I cannot desensitize myself--and I am sure that is for the better. May those sweet babies rest in peace.
***EDITED TO ADD***
News now says that the children were first graders. Obviously that doesn't change how I feel about the situation.