John wrote this yesterday and I said I could share it here. Beautiful...
I checked on our girls last night before I went to bed. They had finally fallen asleep after several water runs, a quick check to see who got booted off of Dancing With The Stars, and some last minute giggling. My "check" on them is routine; turn off the radio, make sure they're covered up, and switch off the night light.
Our youngest, Abbey, had crawled over in the bed with Sarah (they have twin beds bumped up against each other) and I was going to pull her back over in her bed. When I hunkered down to lift Abbey over, I noticed the girls' arms were intertwined. I followed the arms to the hands and then on to the fingers. My girls, my princesses, my fathers- be-good-to-your-daughters daughters were asleep, holding hands with their fingers interlaced. I backed-up and just looked at them. I went and got Meredith, saying, "Come see this" and we both stood, arm in arm, at the wonder of our girls.
We spent some time last night watching a little, a little mind you, of the coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. I asked the kids if their teachers had said anything about that at school and they said, "No." I didn't need a day-long symposium on the event, but I did feel like the teachers owed the kids at least a nod to this tragedy.
We didn't make the kids sit still and watch the news report; they came and went as they pleased. But we did answer any questions they had and made some comments at points in the report. We cried at images of lives cut short, a "cold" shooter who may have just been "sad," and shuddered at the reporters' insatiable quest for the answer to "how did you feel?"
Our son, Will, watched intently, but the girls came and went, playing in their rooms for awhile and then returning to the den for a few and then back to playdough and dolls. I wonder if the girls saw and heard more than I realized? In the beauty of their innocence, they could stand just a little and then had to return to the safety of play? Maybe. I don't know for sure. But it sure felt like the final thing they did before surrendering to sleep last night was to lock arms and hold hands, fingers and all. To shrunch up next to each other, as close as possible, and hang on...for they were entering the night, where things are dark and unseen and alma maters become via dolarosas in the twinkling of an eye.
I don't know much about processing the next few days. I'm sure experts will tell us all how to feel, what to look for, etc., etc. But I'd like to offer this suggestion, per my girls: shrunch up next to one another, lock arms and hold hands, fingers and all. The darkness around us is deep...