Are there any words, really, for the murder of children? I don’t seem to have any. Friday’s tragedy has rendered me speechless. And sad.
When my officemate got a news alert on his iPod about the shooting he said, “Oh, my God…”
“What?” I asked.
“There’s been a shooting in Connecticut and a lot of kids died,” he said.
I was sitting at my computer and Googled “school shooting.” The first thing that came up was a picture of a crying 6-year-old girl. I closed the window and said, “I can’t look at this.”
I left my office and walked across campus to where my own 6-year-old was watching the Nutcracker with her school. I waited outside until she came running through the door into the cold. <Read more>
This morning I pulled onto the highway and into a snowy moment. I say moment because in spring, in Montana, that’s how the weather arrives. And departs. By the moment. As my car accelerated up a small hill I realized it was exactly 32 degrees, which as we all know around here, means the roads are as slippery as snot. So I slowly drove a few hundred yards when Eliza started asking her hallmark 4,001 questions. When we get in the car, that child starts firing off questions and she doesn’t stop until I pull up the parking break, open the door and announce it’s time to get out. That is unless I tell her I’m taking a break from questions, which I often do because she never seems to run out of them. But this morning I let her go and it went something like this:
At least once a day someone asks me about the drive I make everyday from where we live, 25 miles north of town, to Missoula, where most of our lives take place.
“How long does it take you to get to town?”
“Does that drive get old?”
“Do you come in every day?”
“How do the kids handle it?”
I answer in rote fashion not because I’m irritated but because there are simple answers to most of these inquiries.
Twenty three minutes. Sometimes. Most days. Depends on the day.
Most of the time, these questions are coming from a good place. People are interested, curious and maybe a little intrigued by the thought of living out of town. But every now and then I have friend who digs a little deeper, who just cannot understand our choice to live in the middle of a cow pasture with falling down fences in every direction.
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