We need to love our children without taking the miracle of their lives for granted. We need be present to their warm, silly joy when it passes by us on the street. We should look them in the eyes with gentle sincerity, letting them know that they matter and that we are so very glad that they are here.
This week delivered another stark lesson in the difference between a real scandal and a manufactured one. On Tuesday, President Obama was photographed at the Nelson Mandela memorial service taking a selfie with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, thus kicking off #selfiegate. This happened just before the president apparently destroyed America by shaking hands with Cuban President Raul Castro -- at a ceremony honoring a man for, among other things, rising above old hatreds and promoting reconciliation between former enemies. Attracting far less social media fury was the fact that an estimated 28,000 people, including almost 200 children, have been killed by gun violence in the year since Newtown -- or that under the Murray-Ryan budget deal being worked out, extended unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans will abruptly end on December 28. Maybe for Christmas, we should all ask Santa for a more well-placed sense of outrage.
The day had gone from being a routine December Friday in a historic and ornamented slice of CT, to a frenzy of standstill traffic, hovering helicopters palatable anxiety, and a swarm of media lining the narrow Sandy Hook sidewalks; the glow of holiday decorations all but obliterated by the harsh glare of their television lights.