Mass shootings. School shootings. They feel commonplace now. We watch the news coverage. We shed a few tears. We have several heated debates about gun control and mental health support. And then?
We move on. Until the next one comes. We think that something has to be done, but we do nothing. We don’t act. Maybe because we aren’t sure how. Maybe because we don’t think that anything will happen in our community.
But what if it does occur in your community? What if it happens near someone you love? What do you do then?
Yesterday afternoon, I received a text message from Joey. Their bank branch was on lock down. He could see dozens of emergency vehicles lining up outside of their front door. They were barricaded inside, but something terribly, terribly wrong was happening across the street.
Their branch sits on the north end of Seattle Pacific University. It’s a small, but beautiful campus located in a quiet neighborhood — just about a five minute drive from where we live. They share their building with the SPU bookstore. Across the street, no more than 50 yards away, sits Otto Miller Hall. It’s a building that houses classes from the school’s science and engineering department. And it’s where yesterday afternoon, a man opened fire and took the life of a young student and injured several others before bystanders were able to tackle him to the ground and disarm him.
You sort of accept that this is part of our culture, even though you don’t want to accept it. Until you are the one whose phone is glued to her hand, waiting for updates on whether your spouse is safe. Until you are listening him recount watching the SWAT team arrive and the victims depart in ambulances. Until you can’t even escape the hum of the helicopters in your own home.
I can’t speak for Joey, but I can only imagine how he feels. And I will only repeat one thing he said last night. He looked into our daughter’s eyes and he spit out, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have to grow up in this world.”
I’m sorry she does, too. Only sorry isn’t good enough.
Thanks to many of you who’ve taken the time to reach out and obtain the password for my protected posts. I wanted to clarify that not all of my posts from this point forward will be protected (like this one, for instance!) — only ones containing sensitive family information. On that note, a topic that is not as sensitive:
Next month, K turns two.
How did this happen?
In many ways, I feel like she is still a baby. I still call her my baby. There are moments when I still treat her like a baby (and when she still wants me to treat her like a baby). Yet, most of the time, it’s full-on toddlerhood in our house and she acts like a small person. I know. You’re probably thinking, “Well, she’s always been a small person.”What I mean is, she acts like a miniature adult. Some days, it feels like she’s two going on twenty two — particularly during those instances when she wants things done her way. Anyone who knows a toddler can relate to this.
Her talking has improved since I last blogged about it (way back when I was still at From IF to When). She says so many words at this point that I can’t even begin to count all of them, and she’s just recently stared saying phrases — other than the age-old, “uh oh.” She will now say, “Hi, Mama!” or “Bye, Mama!” or occasionally I’ll get a, “Night night, Mama!” It’s adorable and mind blowing at the same time. She even tries to say, “I love you.” I feel like we went from zero to a million words overnight. It happened quickly.
As did picky eating habits. She went from eating almost anything under the sun to eating just about nothing. We have to rotate the same foods constantly. She refuses to eat any vegetables, unless they are pureed. I once tried hiding pieces of carrots and broccoli in her mac and cheese, and she KNEW. She would start chewing and pull pieces of vegetables out of her mouth mid-bite. There’s no sneaking anything pass her. She will eat fruit, though — especially bananas. She’d eat one for every meal of the day if we let her.
Other loves include Sesame Street (what is with toddlers and Elmo?), Curious George, any book she can get her hands on, and Legos. She’s finally getting the hang of puzzles, too, though she gets easily frustrated when she can’t figure out how to make pieces fit together.
She’s a ball of energy. Most days, I have a hard time keeping up with her. It’s why I’m in my pajamas by the time dinner rolls around. Yet, I wouldn’t want it any other way. In my mind, she’s the perfect balance of sweet and sass. I know that with every tantrum she throws or attitude she gives, there’s a hug and a kiss waiting for me right around the corner — and both make each and every day significantly brighter.
I have updates on some of the life changes I posted about several weeks ago. However, for privacy purposes, I will be posting these and any future updates related to personal, family matters in password-protected posts until we feel comfortable sharing our news with a wider audience. If you would like the password to these posts, please email me at:
katieschaber @ gmail.com
Thank you all for your understanding and willingness to take the extra step in order to read about all of the new developments!