So many times over the past couple of weeks I have fired up the laptop and sat down to write a blog post. I was in a good place one evening when I began writing about how my son would soon be eight. About how seven has been brilliant, how we laugh loudly and often and we are equally addicted to Dr. Who. About how watching him recently at the junior Lego gathering, as he discussed his project with the judges, it made me so proud that I feel like I wanted to explode, spraying the whole room with my pride. I didn’t finish what I was doing, put it aside and then the tragic events of last week made my words seem inappropriate. The description of my pride, the fact that I was so happy about my wonderful son, it all felt so wrong. So I stopped writing.
After that I tried again. I began writing about how on the day of the shooting I had been sitting at my computer when I saw the reports. Had just come back from a meeting. Saw the news and just wanted to get up and walk out. Just leave and pick up my son and never let him out of my sight again. I came home early from work after taking my son to his grandparent’s house to stay over (not easy to be apart that day). About how I put the news on and just watched and watched. There was no news, just heart breaking sadness, so close to Christmas. No answers to the question why. Never answers to that question. The words I wrote seemed empty, disjointed. So I stopped writing.
Then later that day on the way to the post office, I drove up to an intersection where the traffic lights were out. It was one of those situations where the police had not yet arrived on the scene. One of those situations where the potential for cars to crash into each other is high. However, at this intersection, at this time, instead of chaos, there was what appeared to be a junior high school aged, bleached blonde, Japanese student with a whistle directing traffic. Not only was he directing traffic, the traffic was taking his direction. He was sort of in the middle of the intersection and although bringing some semblance of order to the situation, I had fear in my heart for his life. Once at the post office I called the police to let them know what was going on. They asked for the street names and what color the lights were flashing. And I knew the answer was red. But although this little sidebar to my life made me smile and stop to consider the inner workings of bleached blonde Japanese high school students with whistles, I stopped writing.
And so it has been a rollercoaster week of happiness and sadness. Of not being able to write and of writing. Of taking time to just be with my family. To cook together. Go for a bike ride and get a haircut. We celebrated making eight today with Thai food and a cupcake. The newly opened Power Rangers joined the newly minted 8 year old in the bathtub. The birthday is over but the celebrating will continue over the weekend. And although I feel like I can’t write, like it is being pounded out of me and there is nothing, I will try to keep writing. Because I know I can. I know I should. And sometimes, I just have to.