Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Moving forward amidst tragedy

The devastating killings in Newtown have weighed heavily over us the past week. Unbelievable losses in an unbelievable setting. What does that leave us with? How do we continue to live in and trust in this world? What choice do we have to do otherwise? The principal who died in Newtown was a first year administrator in a school remarkably similar to Mosier Community School. Dave faces heavy questions from terrified parents who can never be reassured enough that this nightmare won't reach them. He has to train his staff on lockdown procedures and try to brainstorm with them every horrifying way that someone could try to kill them and the children they would seek to protect. In 3 years, I will walk Julia to her first day of kindergarten and the thought of the slain will never be far from my mind. It is hard to turn on the radio and hear the coverage of Newtown interspersed with coverage of juvenile behavior on Capitol Hill and other news drivel. It is hard to see the dichotomy of facebook, where posts of grief alternate with posts of trivial complaining/regular life and posts of "my personal view on gun control." It is hard to make Christmas cookies and think of those who will forever associate Christmas with the anniversary of the death of their child. And yet I make cookies and listen to the news and take Julia out in public knowing full well that I can never protect her enough. That even if I homeschooled and stockpiled weapons that I knew how to use, that wouldn't be enough to save her from a fatal accident. That I can never be sure that she isn't in the wrong place at the wrong time and fall prey to violence or illness or nature. Therefore I go about my day, continue to trust strangers to have good intentions, and try to make sure Julia knows she is loved.
We watched the school's holiday play and when Dave made his appearance as Santa, Julia immediately informed me "oh, thats my Daddy" 
It was good we were in the back since she had to get up and dance whenever a song was sung.  It was a pretty amazing production. 
We got the cookie cutters all unpacked and Julia's been very fond of identifying them. 
The first of many batches of cookies. 

We had our first snowfall, soon followed by rain, then more snow. It is lovely to see it fall and since I don't expect it to last, Julia and I try to get out right away to play. 
At goodwill, I found a little camera toy with the picture wheels. Julia is much taken with it. 

Julia's little friend Aurora and their beloved umbrellas
Unreal beauty on morning walks
I'm so grateful to have a friend to share it with. 

The neighbor chickens came to live with ours for the winter, so now we have six. I expected a bit of pecking and status-seeking when we put the two in, but I have not noticed any at all and have yet to figure out who is top chicken in my little herd. None of them seem too keen on dominance. The white one escapes daily but hangs out by the coop door and waits to be let back in. Despite the addition, we seem to be down to about one egg daily. I've had to supplement, especially with all my baking, but it makes me grumpy to buy eggs.  
Julia re-learned that snow is good eating!