At 3:57 am this morning, my four-month-old baby woke me up. As I often do, I grabbed my phone to scroll through Facebook while I nursed him. There it was. The news. A mass shooting in Las Vegas.
There were a few casualties that they knew of at that time. The airport was on lock-down. There was no word on who the shooter was.
After I put the baby back down to sleep, I lay awake in bed, trying to shut my brain off from what I'd just read.
But, that's getting quite impossible.
In the past week, I have spent time, lying awake, thinking about our asshole of a president, about white supremacy and bigotry, about the people of Puerto Rico — my fellow Americans, about the recent victims of Harvey and Irma and the earthquake in Mexico City, about North Korea, and Russia, and how everything feels so out of control.
And, on Facebook, so much of what I see is division. Because we are angry, because we are afraid, because there is so much shit in the world right now.
And all of that — the fear and the anger and the weight of the world — can do two things. It can paralyze us or motivate us, sometimes simultaneously.
After two hours of not sleeping, I got up. And I turned on the TV. The shooting was a lot worse than I knew at 4 am. It's the deadliest in U.S. history. As I was watching the coverage, I kept thinking, every new mass shooting becomes the deadliest. Because it's getting worse.
And it paralyzes and motivates me. Simultaneously.
And I think, how do we heal? How do we move forward? How has this become commonplace?
There will undoubtedly be more debate on gun control. But, it's not that simple. There will be a need for answers. There will be that unsettled feeling, that feeling that nags at you because you don't know what to do, how to help.
Today, I don't have answers. I don't want to fight with anyone about gun control. I don't want to talk about the president. I don't want to feel fear and anger and division. Because all of that is at odds with the sweet face I looked at 4 am, while I was nursing — a sweet face who doesn't yet know fear and anger and division.
I want him to grow up to be the type of human who fights injustice, the type of human who stands up for what is right. And I'm scared of the world that he and his older brother have inherited.
For today, I am letting go of the fear and anger. Tomorrow, we can fight. Today, we need to heal.
I want, more than anything, for us to find a way to heal. And I mean that sincerely. And I know that seems impossible.
If you're struggling today, I see you. If you're confused and angry and afraid, I understand.