Heaven Help Us

I’ll never understand, nor do I want to understand, what makes a person reach a point in which they feel the need to take the lives of others. Adult or child, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s predetermined or in the heat of the moment I will never get it. Which is good I suppose, in the sense that I’ll never become a serial killer. But it makes things like what happened in Connecticut today, break my heart.

A man walks into a school and kills 26 people. 6 adults and 20 children. Kindergarteners. 5 years olds. He shot children. People who have not had a chance to live life yet. I’m in no way saying it would be better had he killed adults, but really? children? Parents dropped their kids off at school that morning, as normal. Little did they know, they were never going to see them again

I think this incident hit me harder than the others because of my job. As much as I complain about it, I love it. 6 little faces, depending on me daily for comfort from boo-boos and general entertainment. There are days when it stresses me and makes me crazy, but I cannot begin to fathom the thought of something happening to any of them. And I certainly cannot begin to comprehend what it must be like to be the parent of one of those children. These parents dropped their kids off at school thinking they’re doing the best they can for their kids. Thinking it’s a safe place, that nothing will happen. But even schools aren’t safe anymore.

First a movie theatre in Colorado, then a mall in Portland and now this, an elementary school. Something is not right in this world. People are quick to blame it on a lack of gun control. The idea that if people couldn’t own guns, this wouldn’t happen. I find that hard to believe. Clearly the people responsible for these tragedies are not rational beings. If they want a gun, they’re going to find a gun. It doesn’t matter what rules or laws exist, a way will be found.

This world is screwed up, plain and simple. I don’t understand these tragedies and I never will. There’s no reason or excuse for these things. The world and the people in it are broken. And that’s not going to change while we all argue about silly things. The solution? We need Jesus. We need love. I don’t know how we go about that, other than showing an outpouring of love to those around us. I’m not saying that I have the ultimate answer to keeping tragedies from occurring. In fact, I don’t. I put my shoe on the wrong foot earlier, obviously I’m not a great source of intelligence or knowledge.

All I really know is that we shouldn’t take a single second for granted because life is short and it is precious…and we need Jesus.

Dear Kindergarten Me

Dear Amanda,

How’s kindergarten going for you? Ha, that’s silly of me to ask mainly because I already know. How do I know? Well because I am you, 17 years later. And no I’m not REALLY old. When we get older 22 is not old at all. In fact, get this, our mom, she’s like 50. Now, that, is OLD.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing you. Well my goal is try and save us from some of the embarassing things we’re going to do later in life. So here goes.

Let me start by saying, we are not going to marry Scott Anderson. In fact he’ll move away after first grade and we’ll never see him again. I know, I know. His blonde hair and blue eyes are very appealing, but don’t worry boys get better looking when we get older. They get muscles and can grow beards. It’s fantastic really. This is the ‘Scott Anderson’ of your grown up life:

Shea Weber, the dreamest hockey player of all the hockey players

I know he looks old to you now, but it will make more sense as we get older. (Trust me, he. is. dreamy.)

Next, the big fluffy bangs thing…it’s not working for us. Eventually our mother will stop cutting our hair. That’s when we discover that our forehead is not actually that big and we can pull off the no bang look. I’m telling you though, the bangs do not grow in that quickly. People will tell us they’ll grow back fast. They don’t. We will discover this many times with many bad haircuts. Also, we’re going to think if we take a picture to the hairstylist they’ll give us what we want. They won’t. They basically give us the same haircut every single time. Just roll with it. That’s all we can really do.

I’ve got some bad new for you though. The cartoons peak when we’re in kindergarten. Starting about age 10 we’ll notice the quality of them going downhill very rapidly. Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Arthur, they all go away and are replaced with things like CatDog and Spongebob. While we will go through a Spongebob phase, trust me nothing will ever be better than those cartoons we wake up so early on Saturday mornings for. YOU CHERISH THOSE CARTOONS LITTLE AMANDA. YOU CHERISH THEM. You don’t know what you have til it’s gone.

Also just a forewarning. We will do dumb things to injure ourselves. It just happens. Turns out we’re fairly clumsy. Watch out for the football unit in 6th grade p.e. class. We’ll try to catch that NERF football but it WILL hit us right on the tip of our left ring finger and it WILL break. Our mom won’t take us to the hospital though. She’ll just get some ace bandages and a plastic spoon handle to make a splint. (We’ll still be questioning her decision to do that when we’re 22). Don’t worry though, around high school we’ll finally be able to bend the tip all the way again. In 8th grade we’re going to be trying to grasp the attention of a boy. (We do this a lot. We’re kind of an idiot in junior high) We will trip and fall, but catch ourselves right under the corner of a pool table. This will rip our new jeans and also rip a large amount of flesh out of our right leg. It doesn’t hurt too bad, but it looks real gross. Again, our mother will not take us to the hospital. She’ll take us to the grocery store to get some butterfly bandages. We will have an ugly scar. (Slightly emotional, but mostly physical) We’re pretty safe for next few years until our freshman year of college. We try to avoid someone at a football game by following our brother around. He’ll decide to climb over a fence as a shortcut. We will try, but we’ll get our hand caught on the top of the fence. This will bleed a lot. Luckily we’re wearing a black shirt so the blood doesn’t show when we use it as a tourniquet and thusly no one assumes we’ve been shot. This time we will choose to not go to the hospital on our own and instead opt for those darn butterfly bandages again. We’re convinced it’s getting infected but it doesn’t. We still have our left hand at 22. Those are the main stupid injuries we inflict upon ourselves. If you want to go ahead and try to avoid them, that’d be great.

I know you don’t like sports right now. But something happens around ages 18-22 and we somehow become a sports fanatic. It starts with baseball, then hockey and finally we find ourselves watching football and yelling at the tv. (Don’t worry. This confuses me too) It just happens. I’m very sorry about this. We begin remembering useless sports trivia. We yell along with crowds in arenas. I’m only telling you this to warn you. This sports thing just sneaks up on us. It’s ok though because now we can talk intelligently about such things.

FYI. We do pass English our senior year of high school. It was a little touch and go there for a while but we make it through. We graduate and everything, then we head to college. We do not sleep at all the first two years. This will be a terrible decision and our grades will reflect this. But again don’t worry. We make it through that too and graduate. Oh and that person we were trying to avoid your freshman year…well I tell you more about him in person once we’ve invented time machines. The Internet is a big place and he might read this letter.

Sorry, we don’t get married at 18 like all the MASH games said we would. But it’s ok because at 22 we’re still not ready for marriage anyway. Oh and watch out for that car turning left on your way home from work. They’re going to run into us.

All in all our life is pretty good though. So just enjoy those cartoons while you can!

See ya in 17 years!

Future Amanda

PS. Life is not like the Jetsons when we get to the year 2000. I was pretty disappointed about that as well.