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I never did one of those New Year’s resolution posts. I knew it could never be as good as this one.

But I have a resolution. Not to lose the baby weight. I already accomplished that with a steady diet of peppermint patties and Starbucks’ lattes. I have no idea why it worked.ย  I’d like to exercise again before my legs actually atrophy but I’d still opt for pedicure or a nap if given 30 minutes alone. And I’d like my kids to stop picking their noses. But that seems like more of a resolution for them instead of me.

So here’s mine…

To worry less.

Because I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but worrying doesn’t really change the future one way or the other. It just sort of fills my life with stress and anxiety. But the thing about first becoming a parent in 2004 is that suddenly there was this being. A little peanut that I immediately loved more than myself and I was desperate to prevent anything bad from happening to her. And then I had three more peanuts, who I adore just as passionately.

But all my worrying doesn’t protect them. Because apparently, I don’t control the universe.

I once asked Rick why he didn’t worry more.

“Why should I worry? You have it covered,” he replied.

Great. All my worrying frees him from worrying. Can’t I have a different job? Like chocolate malt ball eater?

So I have this new resolution which I have no idea how to keep because how do you force yourself to worry less – and then it happens.

The shooting in Arizona.

And among the dead is a 9-year-old girl.

A third grader who just wanted to meet her Congresswoman that day.

Christina Taylor Green.

You see, I’m absolutely confident that her parents made sure her teeth were brushed, that she wore a helmet when she biked, that she looked both ways before running across the street and didn’t talk to strangers. But all their love and care taking couldn’t protect her.

Not from a mentally ill madman with a handgun at a stupid Safeway.

9 years. Not even close to enough time with their little peanut.

My heart just aches for her family.

And the other families.

And of course, I worry about my own.

So what are we supposed to do? As parents? As Americans? As human beings? How do we live without fear that those we love the most will suddenly be taken away from us?

I don’t have the answer and I have no idea how to keep my resolution.

So today, at 11 am, I will take a moment, with the rest of the nation, to remember the victims of the Arizona shooting.

Because that’s the only thing I can think to do.

31 Responses to a 9-year-old girl

  • Elizabeth says:

    Having raised my first little peanut more than nine years now, I too have been wondering how we as a people deal with this. I delight at the wonder, curiosity and zeal of a nine year old girl as she learns about the world. My heart is sick for this child as though she were my own.

  • Kasie says:

    Great post. You’ve captured the mama bear thing that rears it’s head approx. 1 second after birth of the baby bear. And put into words how the rest of us mama bears feel about such a maddening, stupid, evil event. Mama bears rally around each other. Hurting for her. Prayers stacked on top of prayers.

  • Diane says:

    Thanks MB for this – for we all have so much to worry about, it becomes as you say – overwhelming and ultimately stifling. Why would we ever leave the house? Hang on on to what you know – I have my faith in God – to navigate through. I’m praying for these affected families and for all those out there that would seek to do harm rather than find a peaceful resolution to their own inner turmoil.

  • Marinka says:

    I so agree with you. I remember my high school teacher telling me “If worrying helped, I would worry all the time.” I think it’s impossible for parents to stop worrying. Well, except for Rick, of course.

  • Jodi says:

    When I heard on NPR this morning that she was born on 9/11, that was it. I lost it right there in my car on the way to work.

  • Lauren O'Donnell says:

    Great post today. I was at the gym (trying to lose MY twin weight – lattes didn’t work for me either!) and I actually watched Rick reporting the story on TV. When I got home I hugged my little ones so tight and said a prayer for everyone. How sad ๐Ÿ™

  • The world is so out of control most of the time, there is only so much we have control over. And that is why I pray and entrust my children to God. They are his and I just get the unspeakable pleasure of having them for a while. I pray for this family with all my heart because their time was cut so short and in such a despicable way. I pray for your children too, Kelcey-it is always such a happy thing when you see someone who really appreciates what she has and that’s you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Excellent post.

  • kristen says:

    between the 2 of us, we’ve got the worrying covered for everyone i’m quite certain of that.

    my daughter is 9 y.o. and i was thinking about how she was off with friends yesterday, just like the little girl who was shot; it happens just that quickly.

    thank you for writing this k, i’m going to do the same. xo

  • Daphne says:

    And maybe one of these days we will decide, as a nation, that maybe an okay price to pay for our society would be NOT to let every joe march into walmart and buy guns.

  • Ann's Rants says:

    This is beautiful and perfectly appropriately and relieving-ly funny.

    But serious-ly,

    I just decided that would be a perfect resolution for me, too. I walk around with way too much fear.

    God help that family.


  • annie says:

    Beautiful post! I’ll be with you @ 9:00 my time. I watched my daughters with renewed worry all weekend and as I sent them to school this morning. Especially the 9 year old who is only 6 days younger than the little girl who died. How do they do it?

  • JennyBean says:

    My heart breaks for the family of the 9-year-old little girl. I can’t imagine their grief.

    I don’t read the newspaper anymore because of stories like this because I just cry and feel helpless. I prefer oblivion.

  • amourningmom says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Christina Taylor Green’s family. As I know you have heard me say lots of times – parents should not bury their children.

    I will try to join you in your resolution to worry less. Realizing that you don’t have control is such a difficult concept. . . Take care. xoxo

  • You are so right, and this whole thing is so terribly wrong. A parent just shouldn’t have to bury their child, and my heart is broken for this family, and every other that endures this grief.

  • Michelle says:

    Kelcey, You said it so perfectly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped a little girl or boy like her to see politics in action. My heart breaks for her family.

  • Valerie says:

    As I was on the eliptical last night (also trying to lose the last of my twin baby weight) I got to watch a little more of this. I can’t bear to watch it around my children for fear that they’ll ask questions- could you imagine THEIR worry? It is just so terribly sad. What is this nation coming to? And, I don’t agree with Daphne, the answer isn’t to take away guns. By doing that you simply put them into only the hands of the most dangerous. The ones that can get them illegally. And you take away protection from those that would never attempt to break the law. Instead we need to raise our children right, to respect and love each other, and work together for the common good. Because if you have love, respect, and peace it doesn’t matter if we’re all holding guns. Nobody will be shooting.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    When there’s mayhem and senseless murders, the ‘gun control’ people think ‘if only there was strict gun control, it wouldn’t happen’. And I say if everyone there had a gun, maybe someone could have killed the nut case before he was able to take out so many people. The heroes had to wait till he was re-loading…and then were able to stop him. Remember, people are killed every day with the 2 Wars we’re now engaged in, which includes plenty of dead children. But they’re not ‘American’ children…so they’re dehumanized by us; exept for the soldiers who come home traumatized and suffering having seen the horrors in living color. If worrying would help, let’s all worry about the state of the world we’ve created…

  • Issa says:

    I just can’t get past this one. Maybe I don’t want too. That little girl was only three months older than my oldest.

    It’s senseless. It’s unfair. It makes no sense.

  • CSY says:

    I too am praying for this family. My youngest is a month younger than she was and I couldn’t imagine anything like that. Prayer and God is what I helps me get thru this awful world we have now. Great post, Kelcey.

  • I was never a worrier. Then I had my son and it was like a light switch was instantly turned on. I worried about everything! I decided that instead of wasting precious energy on that, I would turn it towards things I could control. Such a better use of my time.
    I don’t want to have any regrets because you just never know what will happen… my heart goes out to all the familes.

  • Oz says:

    I, too, am a worrier, and wish I could worry less, and worry about worrying less until I’m tied up in worry knots. And I, too, am heartbroken.

  • The Monday after the Tucson shootings, I was making my kids’ lunchboxes and I had this moment where I thought–oh dear god that poor woman, Christina’s mom, she’s not making lunch today for her kids–I had to put my head on the counter for a few minutes to sort of gather myself. My stupidly mundane mommying life suddenly looked much, much better.

kelcey kintner