Redefining Home

Written & originally posted the day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 

I’m looking at pictures of my friends’ kids in my FB news feed and every time I press “like” I well up with tears. My old therapist would say, “Let them out.”

That would mean relaxing the tension in my upper chest and — excuse me, as I try to write this (try to follow the emotion, try to relax, try to let the tears out), Andy’s sitting next to me watching Nashville. The music sounds so awful that it snapped me out of the feelings. Dammit.

And what’s up with this episode anyway? The two musical acts I usually (almost) enjoy sound like crap, and Little Miss Pop Country sang a very listenable tune. My head nodded to the beat practically involuntarily. It’s like it’s opposite day: the first is last, the last is first — Jesus talked about that, right?

“Must be 12-12-12,” I tell Andy.

He says, “Jesus wasn’t Mayan.”

Well, Jesus didn’t tote a gun either.

This post has suddenly devolved into a monologue by SNL’s Drunk Uncle.

You know what I want? I want to go home.

Home is that feeling when I drove fast down Old Crain Hwy because my body knew the way and no one I cared about had died there yet. My first love was my only love and parting from him was too painful to imagine. I would celebrate Christmas every year as if it were a dress rehearsal for the day when I’d be a homemaker wrapping each gift with cloth ribbons, and I still believed.

I believed that Christmas meant something. I believed that God came down in human form. I believed that there was a god.


But since my faith rip corded itself into nonexistence, bliss comes in smaller, drier doses.

It comes when I look at a photo of a girl proud in her costume from a performance well delivered. It comes when I look at a photo of a young lady telling her dad about an enjoyable experience. It comes when I look at a photo of a boy falling over from practicing side kicks in his socks.

These photos show love: living love.

That’s my god now.

And come to think of it, that urge to go home, that’s a visceral reaction to yesterday’s horror.

The fact is, I like how my life is turning out — that I’m a part of an unconventional family, that I’m moving away from the simple-minded anthropomorphizing of the forces of nature, that I’m still able to adore and appreciate and love, that I’m totally late for a date with Andy to see The Hobbit.

So without sequitor, without proper English, without editing, I’ll add this:

If you’re doing your best to keep a little one safe today, peace and joy to you. And thanks for posting pictures.


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