I rocked my son in the creaky old glider. His hair is damp from the bath, sweet smell of bubblegum bubbles still lingering over him. I sweep my hand round and round his small back, soothing myself, really. This mother’s fear, it is an achy thing. It grabs me by the throat and throbs behind my eyes. And in this innocent room of a little suburban house in a little suburban town I am an animal, crouched and wild. You will not take this child.
I hear the mumble of CNN from the other room. Men speak of weapons and mental health and Constitutional rights. I hear numbers and statistics amid talk of liberties. Feeling freshly wounded for the small suburban Connecticut town, I rock my son longer, clutching him like a safety raft, floating aimlessly. I am holding twenty children. I am holding them one-by-one, praying over their sweet heads. I am lulling them ever so gently to sleep. I am feeling their big hearts beat calm and steady in their chests. The rise and fall against mine. I am begging through my bones that they feel how fiercely they are loved before they close their eyes. Inside I am wilder still. You will not take this child.
Beyond state lines and border seas, beyond hundreds of years we’ve toiled away modernizing, I’m holding on to the basic rights of humanity. There are not numbers or names, no care for politics in this place.
I have the right to be a mother.
I have the right to love my child such power that mountains tremble.
I have the right to wash him in clean waters, cloak him in the softest things, comfort him completely.
I have the right to clinch my fists and squint my eyes and pray over his sweet head with all my might for blessings of a full life.
I have the right to rock my son to sleep.
I have the right to wake and greet him in the morning.
I carry these kids with me. We listen to this talk of defending rights, of so much gone wrong. But these are not the rights I am concerned with defending. You will not take this child, I think. We have the right to keep them.
I cannot pray hard enough for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, a city wholly victimized, but I will try and try.
*If you choose to share your thoughts and prayers in the comment section I ask that you be respectful. This is not an area for political views, just an opportunity to support a corner of the world so desperately hurting right now.