I don’t want them to see me cry

I’m trying so hard. I’m doing my best. But every so often, I see a tweet or an update or just some fleeting though passes through my head and I have to fly into the bedroom

I sit in the quiet darkness of my room and type while Nate stays strong for both of us.

Girls, who wants to play with the iPad!


I flicker so quickly between numbness and outrage. Between paralysis and frantic energy. I’m starving. I can’t eat. I want a glass of wine. I want to sleep. I want to play with my kids. I want to be alone.

I make a donation to the Brady Campaign and feel a little less powerless. I engage in stupid debates on Facebook with human brick walls. It’s a distraction, but easier than being alone with my thoughts.

I especially mourn for my friend VDog who lost her nephew today at Sandy Hook. Please keep her family in your heart.

How does one even recover from this?

I’ve said before that any mother’s loss is every mother’s loss.

We all lost so many tonight.

Too many.

Still, I have to live for the living. I want my girls to dance at our building’s Christmas party tonight. I want them to think about movies and weekend plans and playdates with friends and asking for dessert when they haven’t had any dinner. I want them to be kids. But the hard part is, I want them to be kids in a world where this shit doesn’t happen.

I will have to settle for creating that illusion for them as long as I can.

Which means I don’t want them to see me cry.


32 thoughts on “I don’t want them to see me cry”

  1. Nodding as I read this (after shooing my daughter downstairs to play with her dad)… From rage to sadness to powerlessness today has been a roller coaster. My heart goes out to all the moms whose roller coaster has stopped at the bottom of the hill.

  2. My head is aching from all the crying I already did and I’ve been trying to hide it from my boys since they got home. Doing a better job with the littler one as he’s less …let’s say attuned. My big boy is an emotional sponge and he knows something’s up. My already broken heart goes out to your friend and her family. These are all our babies. All mothers should be grieving, and mad as hell both.

    1. My kids are attuned as well. They just ran into my room, jumped on me and squeezed me tight.

      It’s a good thing it’s dark in here.

      And yes, grieving and mad as hell. Both.

  3. I’m not sure how I can tell my six year old about this without crying. I wish I didn’t have to tell him, but I’m afraid he’ll hear about it on the bus or at school. I’ve been in tears all day too. So so very sad, and for us, so close to home…

  4. My heart is so heavy today. It is awful, so terrible I can’t even find the right words for it. I am grateful my kids are all too young to know what has happened. I don’t want to have to explain this to them.

  5. When my son walked in I looked at him trying to figure out what he knew so I could figure out how to react. He didn’t know anything and I’ll keep it that way for tonight. We’re going to light our candles, play dreidle and he’ll have no idea why I’m hugging him so much. I’m ok with that.

  6. My SIL decided that FB, today, was a good time and place to argue with me that gun control would NOT prevent these sorts of things from happening. Should I argue about mental health attention too then? Sigh. I want to yell, and cry and hug my kids. Contact congress.org and let one email go to all your federal officials. Just enter your zip code. We must let them know that gun control isn’t a partisan issue!

  7. I cried like a baby in front of 32 16 year olds in my 7th period class today. I had told myself I could pull it together after hearing the president speak, and then… I couldn’t. And I lost it. And they hugged me and went on to be amazingly supportive students.

    Now I’m home and trying to hide my tears from my own almost-kindergartener and one year old. I’m soaking in their love and joy and innocence so that I can – for a little while – pretend that we don’t live in a world where some days the unthinkable actually happens.

  8. Since I work nights I woke up to the news right before my kids walked home from school. I tried to keep it together but could not. Midwest love to the East Coast being sent again this weekend.

  9. I wept. Just wept. I can’t imagine, I mean I CANNOT. My mind won’t allow me to enter that arena for the fear it might not be able to find its way back. To think that some parents will now live in that place is almost more than another mother can bear. The only thing I can think to do is pray. Pray for the little souls that they are comforted now in the arms of God and that their fear has been erased. Pray that the parents can somehow find their way through this agony and come out the other side, the same people on the outside but with different, jaggedly dissected and haphazardly reassembled hearts inside. Pray for the people who might be delusionally thinking this would be a good way to get the attention THEY want, that divine intervention or fate or reality or sudden mental clarity will convince them that creating pain does not erase their own. It’s all I can do.

  10. I read your blog, and just wanted to offer my two cents. I think we should let our kiddos see us cry — over a tragedy like this. Tears and pain need to be expressed and not suppressed. It’s part of the whole human experience, and when our kids see us cry, they know it’s ok for them too. It’s hard to explain something like this to kids, but tears and sadness can convey more than words can sometimes.

    I am praying for the parents who lost their beloved children today. I cannot imagine their pain.

    1. Thanks Amy – I appreciate your thoughts. My kids see me cry all the time. They’ve been through family losses and the death of my niece at 7. They’ve seen me cry talking about the kids we met in Ethiopia.

      I’m a NY Jew! I express emotion! But…

      I’m not ready to put the unfathomable idea in their young heads that they may not be safe at school and that 20 children were murdered today. It goes beyond explaining it–it’s creating unnecessary fear and doubt that I know my 5 year old is not ready for. It will not enrich their lives in any way.

      I understand if other parents feel differently.

  11. My 1yo has been quite puzzled at my little breakdowns today, but I don’t have kids who would really understand at this point. I think I would have done the same as you.

  12. I was too on edge today after I picked up my kids from school (and couldn’t stop squeezing them too hard) to not have to tell them what happened. I told my oldest alone in the kitchen and she wept while I held her. I told my middle child alone in the car as we were running errands and she mostly seemed confused as to why anyone would do such a thing. I talked to her about what Mr Rogers always said about tragedies, that we should always look for the helpers and be grateful for them. The kindergartener…. I can’t tell him.

    I am stunned that anyone finds this an acceptable consequence of our inadequate approach to guns in this country. Something is very very wrong.

  13. “How does one even recover from this?

    I’ve said before that any mother’s loss is every mother’s loss.

    We all lost so many tonight.

    Too many.”

    We mourn together.
    My heart hurts for those families. My daughters are 3 and 1, I dread the day I have to begin explaining the violence of the world to them. I can’t even wrap my own head around it. Heartbroken.

    1. I agree! It was the bet thing I had read all day. And that’s saying something. They somehow always manage to get it right. Even 9/11 when no one could laugh.

  14. My younger children seem unaware. I can’t see how bringing this up to them will make a horrific situation any better. If they ask, we will talk. If I sense any change in their behavior, we will talk. As an adult, I sit in stunned unbelief when I think about it. My prayers are continually for the families and their unimaginable loss. But with my children I chose to overcome evil with good and not let evil a moment into our house.

  15. Yes, yes, you are so right, any mother’s loss is every mother’s loss…I too don’t want them to see me cry and I’m having so much trouble processing all of this. When I start to think about the enormity of the tragedy, the tears start. I so hope that our mourning with the families of Newton helps to ease at least a small bit of their insurmountable pain and grief. Thank you for sharing your thoughts…I too want to post about this, but am having trouble organizing anything coherent.

  16. My kids are young enough that I can keep this from them, and I intend to do just that. We have friends who live near a school that had two little girls injured by a gunman a couple of years ago, and she says that a lot of families had to transfer their kids, because their kids were too scared to go back to school after that.

    The parents at work were all right on the edge of tears yesterday.

    I came home and gave money to the Brady Center, wrote a letter to President Obama, and wrote a letter to the NRA. It sickens me that the recipients of that last letter are the ones with the actual power to change things. I do not expect my letter to change their minds, but I wanted them to at least know what I think. And then I posted both letters on my blog, got my kids to bed, and then had a beer and fell to pieces.

  17. There is no silver lining to this. We have to swallow this horrible pill – we keep allowing these awful events to happen whether it be gun control, poor mental health care or perhaps both.

    The only thing I can hope for is this – all those ridiculously crazy parents that I witness day in and day out bitching out teachers (oh – it is an hourly occurrence at our school) – watch this and realize what teachers really do for our children….Maybe they will shut f— up.


    1. I’ve heard about the teacher – if this is what I think it is – but I have not yet watched any video or TV from any news source, besides Obama’s speech. I still can’t handle it.

      Thanks Rachel.

  18. I haven’t cried in front of my children, haven’t wanted to answer the questions. They’ve caught me staring at nothing quite a few times since Friday and I try to wave it off, but my oldest knows. She’s 12; she listens to the radio and tv and asks questions but my 9-year-old is oblivious, trapped in a beautiful ignorance only children inhabit. I know I have to tell her. I know. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to.

  19. I was home on Friday and happened to catch the news online. I then turned on the TV and kept it on in the background while I tried to work. A part of me died when I heard that there were 20 kids dead. Twenty kids. I went through tissue after tissue. Shortly before I went to pick up my son, I turned off the TV and did my best to compose myself. I wasn’t ready then and I’m not ready now to shatter his already fragile innocence. He’s only 8.

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