Dark days

My brother called me the other day and the first thing he said was, "Homeschooling is starting to look like a really good idea." We didn't know the numbers yet, but 27 people had been murdered at an elementary school in Connecticut, most of them kids.

Statistically, schools are very safe places, and my kids are in more danger riding to Bozeman with me than they would be going to school, but when some maniac kills a bunch of little kids, I'm glad my boys are home with me. We don't homeschool for their safety, of course, we do it for a slew of other reasons. I wasn't feeling very rational on that day so I cuddled with my boys and read books, glad they were home.

I spent the day listening to NPR and following the news online. I turned my back to the boys and cried for the other kids who were the same age as Anders. I didn't tell my kids what happened; that's too much for a four and five-year-old to process. How do you explain something like that?

Instead we took to the woods. We skied and sledded and drank hot cocoa. I always feel better when I'm outside. There's room to think, room to run around, room to be ourselves the way we were meant to be.

I honestly don't know where I am going with this. When you spend all day with little kids, there is no one to talk to about these kinds of things. And by the time Henry gets home, dinner is shared and the kids are in bed, it's about all we can do to watch something silly on our computers.

The days are going to keep getting darker, but only for another week. Then the sun starts its return. Longer days, more light, and more hope are guaranteed for the days following the Solstice. So, I try to embrace this season of darkness, knowing the light is on the way.