Millions of us have been traumatized by this mass shooting, unlike any other. The reason? We can picture ages five to ten. We hold them in our arms. We smell their hair. We wipe their noses and laugh with their silliness. Our stomachs seize when they are bullied or their temperatures reach 104. My daughter-in-law forwarded a link to a wonderful blog by Jennifer Rowe Walters, who explains all this. It's called, "What Six Looks Like" (www.huffingtonpost.com).
Yet it's the season of Hanukkah and Christmas. If Ann Curry's idea (NBC News) for 26 random acts of kindness (one for each victim) seems overwhelming, I'll start with one simple thing with someone right in front of me.
I'll hug and kiss and hold on longer than usual. I'll make a point of telling a little one, especially, he will always be loved. I'll say "Thank you" to whoever is making possible another beautiful holiday together. I'll tell someone who serves me how much he is appreciated. Above all else, I'll respect the person in front of me.
I'll pay the season forward.
I'll perform a random act of kindness without expecting anything in return. I'll give a child passing by a big smile and a wave. I'll wish people I'll never see again "Merry Christmas." I'll say "Thank you" for even the smallest act of kindness (holding a door open, for example), and then return the favor for someone else. I'll give something away that I'm are no longer using. I'll share a story, a photo, a coffee break, a lunch. I'll be a good listener, even if a child of six is talking.
As Jennifer Walters wrote, "We know how sturdy and strong six is...and yet how frail and fragile." Just like the rest of us.
There'll come a day when Christmas will be returned to me. As it is every time I hear those five little voices.
Merry Christmas, everyone, and a healthy, safe 2013!