Sometimes I have a hard time sleeping. Early this morning around 2:45am I was half asleep when one of my little darlings crawled into my bed. Now that my kids are getting older I enjoy this time of the night. It’s my time to hold them while I still can. Pretty soon they’ll be too big to climb into my bed.
I love holding them and smelling their hair. Still damp from their bedtime bath. I want to bottle it up and keep that smell forever. I love how they still fit so perfectly in my arms.
Around that same time, my phone beeped. I was awake so I rolled over to check it out. It was an alert from Huffington Post that a bomb just went off at an airport in Brussels.
Same story. Different city.
Not being a geography major, I wasn’t even sure where Brussels was. But I know now. When I left the house the death toll was at thirteen. In the car the radio was reporting at least thirty were confirmed dead. Hundreds more injured. By the time I got to work I knew way more about Brussels than I could ever imagine.
What happened in Brussels is something that can happen anywhere. When I got out of the shower this morning my kids were all in front of the television watching the horror unfold. I’m always so torn by this. I don’t want them living in a bubble not knowing what dangers are out there. But at the same time I don’t want them terrorized by these events. I turned the channel.
The other night we went to the Chicago Blackhawks game with the kids. I would be lying if I said that the thought of an act of terrorism doesn’t occasionally cross my mind at an event like that. But living in fear is no way to live.
Somewhere around my seventh glass of wine I was able to relax enough to enjoy the time with my family. My fears were quelled by the ripened grapes that invaded my bloodstream. Living life totally sober is also no way to live.
A few years ago during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon Bomber, I remember being terrified for the people of Boston. Being held prisoners in their homes as a terrorist was at large. The entire city was shut down. I was glued to the television. Praying no one else would be hurt. All the while thinking that could have easily been Chicago.
Today was such a beautiful day here. It was one of those great first days of spring. The kids were able to play outside after a long winter. All I could hear was laughter.
And then I turn on the television and watch an interview with a woman who was a victim of today’s bombings. She said, “I’m so scared. I feel like it’s the end of the world.”
It’s so unreal. I’m just here going about my business enjoying life as other peoples lives are being horribly changed forever. I think about all of the dumb things I worry about on a daily basis. They just seem so insignificant now.
There was a time when I would not let my kids crawl into my bed. But now I want to hold my kids there forever. I don’t want to send them out into the world. After the events of today, I never want to let them go.