I don't know where I stand on gun control. I don't know what role mental illness may or may not have played in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I'm not sure what more could have been done to prevent such a horrific situation from occurring.
All I do know is that I am a mother. I have two children, one of whom will be a kindergartner next year. Knowing that there are parents going to bed tonight without their child tucked safely in bed rips my heart apart. I've cried, I've prayed, and I've squeezed my children until they've begged me to stop.
If this tragedy has taught me anything, its that you can not kiss, hug, cuddle, or tickle your children enough. You can not tell them you love them enough. Since Friday, during moments of frustration (and believe me there have been many), I've had to remind myself to be grateful. Grateful that my children are still sitting in front of me. Grateful that they are still here to do things that drive me crazy. Grateful that this Christmas I will be able to experience the joy and wonder of presents under the tree with my children.
Life can change in an instant. Driving down the street, sending your kids to school, going to work - you never know what can happen. Life is short. We all need to spend our days complaining less, encouraging more, and loving the people most important to us. I believe that's the best way to honor the victims of Newton, Connecticut, and victims of violence, worldwide. Hate a little less and love a little more.