It seems difficult to create a post here without dedicating some time to reflection on the terrible events in Virginia... I gave great consideration as to what to post here. Should I try to focus on all the little joys in our life to give people a break from all the media coverage? Are people going to be checking this site for a chance to read something and smile? I could go on and on about Battle Bottle and its new friend facial rash, about how we got 8 blessed hours of sleep last night, but this is not a time to talk about these things. If you came seeking that break, I am sorry that I will not be able to give it to you... at least not in the way you are looking for it.

As my new little family sat together on Monday night watching the neverending coverage of the sad events (can we please stop calling it a massacre - it makes my heart hurt) I was overcome by a new feeling in my gut. We had certainly watched news coverage of horrific events together in the past, but as we watched something felt different. While I am sure that I would have certainly been sympathetic and immensely sad for these parents, this new feeling of camaraderie was absolutely overwhelming.

I realized midway through the news program that this new feeling I had was intense empathy for the parents of the students lost. I realized that those parents had quiet evenings at home not much unlike ours with their children when they were babies, that they had covered their tiny bobble headed faces and perfect feet with kisses, had said "ahgoo" over and over to reveal an infectious gummy grin, had rocked them to sleep singing sweet songs feeling the weight of that little baby bod grow heavier, had spent countless hours watching their little angels sleeping, had documented their early life with photos, filled baby books with firsts, had stored boxes of report cards, drawings, and book reports in their basements, had gone to sleep each night exhausted but filled with an ever increasing love, and had dreamt of their child's life, their future, and more than anything else their child's happiness. Watching my Caroline in Steve's arms that night and realizing all that these parents had lost made my heart ache and it has not stopped aching since.

Caroline's "Uncle Hokie" and his Blake Lewis-esque friend are in our thoughts. I keep imagining what it must be like for them and their fellow Hokies everywhere to watch the coverage and see the familiar landscape as the stage for such a terrible tragedy.


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