Half-Staff (Photo credit: Kevin H.)

I want to hug the kids right now. I want to run to their school and yank them out of class and squeeze them and smell them and tell them I love them so many times that it sinks in and fills them and spills from their eyes. I want to, but I won’t. Instead I’ll sit here at my desk, my hand over my mouth, my head in my hands thinking of all of the parents whose kids left for school this morning and won’t come home tonight.

I believe that we can only control the things we can: our own actions. There is nothing we can do to stop a gunman intent on slaughtering dozens at a schoolhouse outside of being better people and arguing/working for the things we believe in. But  still.

Children, helpless children, are dead. Parents who loved them. Teachers who believed in them. All. Gone. For no apparent reason.

And it is, as always a reminder to those of us who can say, “Thank God it wasn’t us” while still feeling “Oh My God, it was them.”

There is nothing your child can do – not wake you up in  the middle of the night, not get a bad mark on a test, not leave their sharpest toy on the  stairs –  that will compare to them not being with you. Love them hard. And in those moments when you think “Will this kid ever stop?” Shut up and love them more.

Hugging our children is a privilege, not a right. We don’t know when that privilege will end.

This horrible horrible tragedy is a reminder of that. Love them now. Stop what you’re doing and forget the idea that there is anything else that is so terribly important it can’t wait. The only thing that has to be done now and can’t wait is this  very moment. Seize it. Live it. Love in it.

My deepest condolences to the families and the planet that shared those incredible little people for far too short a time.