The Children Who Will Always Be Children

posted in: Life, Life’s Lessons 89 comments

Saturday morning began as any – far too early. Drinking a cup of coffee while the baby played by my side, I turned on my laptop.

I was stunned and shattered. Shootings, children, death, guns, more death, more children gone too soon, stabbings.

I sat here, thinking about the young lives lost, about the parents whose arms are empty, and whose hearts are broken. I could not stop thinking of Christmas presents that will never be opened, and this time of the year, supposed to be joyful, forever changed for so many. My head and heart were full of the children who will always remain children, because their right to live, and grow up, has been ripped away from them.

And I cried. I held my baby and I cried. When my 3 year old came home from his grandparents, I hugged him and told him that I love him.

The lump in my throat stayed there all day.

It was a long day. Post-appendectomy follow up at the hospital. Urgent grocery run as we had no food. Children who would not and could not nap. Snotty noses and phlegmy coughs. A dreary day to match my mood. A three hour effort to get the poor, sick baby to sleep at night. A heavy, heavy heart. And that lump in my throat.

As I struggled to not lose it, I thought about how with tragedies such as these, our perspective is suddenly pulled sharply into focus. The daily grind, the minor inconveniences – it seems rather ungrateful that we dwell on them. Isn’t it a tragedy of sorts, that something like this needs to happen before we realize how good we have it?

And so before I wrapped up my long day, I checked in on my firstborn and watched him sleep for a few minutes. I then plodded into my room to check on the baby, who, exhausted, had finally fallen asleep. And I finally sat down, and let that lump in my throat out, and cried silent tears for the children who will always be children, wishing they didn’t have to be the ones to show us that we should always be grateful for all that we have, that we need to tell the people we love that we love them NOW, and for putting things into perspective.

Rest in peace, children .

Focus on here and now quote

If you’ve written a post about your feelings following the tragic events in Connecticut and China, let me know in the comments, I’d love to read it. If you’ve read a good post about it, let me know too. Thank you, and I love you all.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • December 17, 2012 Kristin

    I sang “Away in a Manger” to Lil’ Bit tonight. It was on the back of a very old and well-loved book that my mom passed on to me called The Christmas Story – a story of the nativity told in a way a child could understand. All three verses. I’d forgotten how the third verse went.

    Be near me, Lord Jesus
    I ask Thee to stay
    Close by me forever,
    And love me I pray

    Bless all the dear children
    In Thy tender care
    And take us to Heaven
    To live with Thee there

    For the children who will always be children. May God rest their tiny souls.
    Kristin recently wrote…Silent NightMy Profile

    • December 17, 2012 Kim

      Beautifully said, Kristin. I, too, had forgotten the third verse. Surprising, because it was the bedtime song my youngest asked for every night until she was about seven years old. I can remember getting so weary of that song, but what comfort it provided my little girl, and that verse provides to me today. Thank you!
      Kim recently wrote…Got encouragement?<br/>Time to give and receive: It&#8217;s a linkup!My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      What a lovely, lovely song, Kristin.

  • December 17, 2012 AnnMarie

    I did write a post. I could have written a lot more. I could have said everything that makes me sick about it. Everything that makes me angry or sad but I didn’t. I am just so heavy-hearted. I keep kissing my kids. My instinct is to want to protect them from knowing any of it but I can’t. Instead I have to come up with the right words and I just wish I knew what those were.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…Moving ForwardMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I don’t think there can ever be the right words. Just hearts in the right places.

  • December 17, 2012 Christine

    I still can’t get that lump out of my throat or stop the tears from pooling behind my eyes. My heart is so heavy. I haven’t really watched the news and have only read a few articles. I’ve spent the weekend with my boys, hugging and being silly and singing Christmas carols. Rest in peace children.
    Christine recently wrote…2012 Billabong Pipemasters and New World ChampionMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I think that’s the only way for all of us to heal – to just be with our loved ones.

  • December 17, 2012 thedoseofreality

    A beautiful post Alison. It perfectly captures what we are all feeling right now. I have read many amazing things all weekend. And sad things. And watched far too much footage that ripped my heart out. The children who will always be children. Yes, that.
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…We Are Giving It Up Because We Can…and ShouldMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I think we all need to take a breather from the news, yes? Too much sadness.

  • December 17, 2012 Robbie
    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Heading over to read!

  • December 17, 2012 Adrienne

    Beautiful post, Alison. This captures some of what my heart is feeling. I’m still trying to sift through my thoughts for a post on this. I’m too sad to write. The thought pops in my head and tears fall. All day long.
    Adrienne recently wrote…A Special Christmas TreeMy Profile

  • December 17, 2012 Susi

    Alison, beautiful. You’ve put into words what I couldn’t. I’ve had a lump in my throat since Friday morning and little things make me tear up. So, so sad. xoxo
    Susi recently wrote…Hubby to the rescue&#8230; and a few fill ins!My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      This one will stay with us for a while. Sigh.

  • December 17, 2012 Allison Tate

    Alison, I imagined the same Christmas presents (and at least in one case, Hanukkah candles) waiting for children who will not come home. I am devastated.

    The post I wrote — noted below — was for the Krim children after they were murdered in their UWS apartment, but I felt like it still applied to the Sandy Hook shootings. All I can think about is that we have to trust the world with the most important people in the world to us, and sometimes the world fails us.
    Allison Tate recently wrote…We all fell off the tightrope yesterdayMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I’ve read your post twice, Allison. It was beautiful.

  • December 17, 2012 sarah

    Oh, my heart hurt so badly from this and still does. Everything was compounded for me because there I was loving all over and celebrating my very own kindergartener turning 6 on Dec. 14th. It wasn’t fair. It isn’t fair. I have words buzzing around in my head, but I haven’t written anything just yet. I’ve probably watched too too much CNN. My hope is that some good, a lot of good will come from this event. I won’t forget those children and those adults.

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Oh it must have been so hard for you, Sarah. Sigh.

  • December 17, 2012 Natalie

    These events make you wonder what has happened to this world when people are killing innocent children??? It saddens me that my boys are being brought up into a world that has so much evil…I just pray every day that the good wins over and we see less of these tragedies. I can’t even imagine how these families are feeling…and yes it causes me to hug my boys a little tighter. When I watched the news and the teacher that had her kids all in the bathroom said she told all the kids she loved them b/c she wanted them to know they were loved and that would be something their parents would say b/c she thought they would not make it…I cried. We’ll continue to ask why…
    Natalie recently wrote…I’ve Got Questions, You’ve Got Answers!My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It saddens me that this is the world our children have been born into. Sigh.

  • December 17, 2012 Kiran

    What a beautiful post. Yes, it’s often in the face of tragedy that our perspectives shift and come back into focus. We remember what matters, what’s important. I have looked into the eyes of parents who have lost their children – to magnify that by 26. It’s too much pain to quantify.

    Sending hugs to you and yours. Consider joining me in the #26Acts of Kindness movement to honor them. Post linked up.

    Kiran recently wrote…Small Things With Great LoveMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I’m still working on what I can do for the 26. Lovely of you to do this.

  • December 17, 2012 ilene

    Your words are beautiful, articulating feelings a bout something so tragic with such poise. Thank you for this pose from your heart during a time when we need heart.
    ilene recently wrote…The PauseMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for reading, Ilene.

  • December 17, 2012 tracy

    Beautiful and bittersweet post, my love. I love you.And your big heart.

    Here’s mine. xoxo
    tracy recently wrote…Mama BearMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I love you and your heart too. And your post. xo

  • December 17, 2012 Mamarific

    Thank you for this. I still have that lump in my throat, too. I wrote a post about how I was feeling, and it was the only way I could get any sleep that night. Hugs to you.
    Mamarific recently wrote…How Will We Sleep Tonight?My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      And to you. Off to read your post.

  • December 17, 2012 erin margolin


    thank you for sharing this….i am feeling hollow and empty and trying to see my way through it.

    erin margolin recently wrote…Making the Move & Listen to This!My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I hope you find the light soon. xo

  • December 17, 2012 Alexandra

    Thank you, A.

    Somehow, I believe, that by acknowledging the lie lost, that we pay honor to them.

  • December 17, 2012 Beady J

    Well-expressed post, Alison. Yes, especially Christmas & New Year is coming up, I cannot imagine how the mommas cope with their loss. It is too painful to imagine.
    Beady J recently wrote…How To : Simple Studded Earrings (Christmas Gift Idea)My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It is truly sad.

  • December 17, 2012 Sili

    Beautiful. I wrote yesterday but it doesn’t seem enough and, I can’t seem to stop thinking about all of this. Crying in fits and spurts as things hit me. Baby girl is with her dad tonight and I miss her. The thought of missing her forever is just unfathomable.

    And yet, yesterday she sang This Little Light of Mine and I wanted to bottle it up and send it to the parents who lost their babies to comfort them. My words don’t seem like enough. And neither do my tears.
    Sili recently wrote…Newtown: Praying Through the TearsMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It can never be enough. But I do hope our tears, our writing voices, our hearts – will somehow reach those who need them most, the ones living, who have lost so much.

  • December 17, 2012 Jessica

    It’s a sad, sad world sometimes.
    Jessica recently wrote…Essence of NowMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It is, truly, truly sad.

  • December 17, 2012 Kimberly

    I’m still sorting through the words in my head. It hurts knowing that the world can be so sad sometimes. And oh, those precious children. Those sweet angels now. xo
    Kimberly recently wrote…Essence Of Now: Celebrating ChanukahMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      May they rest in peace, always.

  • i love this post… I still cry every time I read something about the shooting, I am from the Philippines yet I am affected because I am a mother to 3 girls, and my youngest is turning 6 in a few days. Those kids doesn’t deserve to die. As i read in an article, one of the kid said, I WANT CHRISTMAS, I JUST WANT CHRISTMAS… it will be one sad christmas for the parents and their community and all that we could do is pray for them.
    Ma. Teresa Grech Quiatchon Racal recently wrote…Amaya’s WorldMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Tragedies such as this, surpasses geography. I’m in Malaysia and I’m absolutely heartbroken.

  • December 17, 2012 Tina

    It’s all so much to wrap our heads around. Those poor babies, so sad. I did write a post and shared some resources for talking to your children about this -if you need to.

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Fortunately, my children are still too young to understand and I can still shield them from this horror. But for how long? Sigh.

  • December 17, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    This is so well said. I didn’t know what to say. I just keep praying and crying.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…How to Make a Gingerbread Man LunchMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Sometimes, that’s all we can do.

  • December 17, 2012 My Inner Chick

    My heart, My heart.

    My Inner Chick recently wrote…I FallMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Little babies, gone too soon. How do their parents ever recover? My heart is broken for them.

  • December 17, 2012 Stasha

    I still cannot wrap my head around it. It is truly unbelievable. I don’t think the world will ever be the same.
    Stasha recently wrote…Monday ListiclesMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It just got darker. So heartbreaking.

  • December 17, 2012 Mirjam

    I’m staying away from the media as much as I can. I can’t talk about it, i can’t even read about it. Saturday morning I God up and followed the news until I could no more. My heart is just so sad for those parents, for those children. Beautiful post Alison. (Have you read Twinisms’ post?)
    Mirjam recently wrote…AngelMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I stopped reading the news after I write this post. Seeing faces, knowing their names, it just made it so much harder. Have not read Bridget’s post, will go check it out.

  • December 17, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Yes, this…exactly this.
    Hugs, mama.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…My Dearest Children…My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Hugs to you, too.

  • December 18, 2012 Phase Three of Life

    I’ve got a similar lump. It is so terrifying to be a parent and know how quickly and easily your children can be senselessly taken from you. I can’t imagine anything worse than what those families are going through.

    I wrote a post on Saturday, if you want to take a peak:
    Phase Three of Life recently wrote…An ordinary parent coping with a national tragedy.My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Wil head over to read it, thank you for sharing.

  • December 18, 2012 Carolyn

    Well written. Thank you.
    Carolyn recently wrote…Would You Want to Know Your Future?My Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, Carolyn.

  • December 18, 2012 Kimberly

    This is all I can think about.
    It’s been breaking me in pieces knowing that there is a Mom who won’t have the chances that I do with my son.
    Those poor angels.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Secret Mommy-hood Confession SaturdayMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      My heart, broken. Sigh.

  • December 18, 2012 Elaine A.

    I’m having trouble thinking about the fear those poor babies had to face and I am praying and wishing that the holy spirit (something I believe in as a Catholic) was over them, comforting them as they passed. I am just so, SO sad that this happened. For all involved. Those poor babies and their families. My heart truly aches.
    Elaine A. recently wrote…A Change in MeMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I can’t stop (still) thinking about their last moments, how terrified they were. Have to stop thinking about it before it suffocates me.

  • December 18, 2012 Meredith

    Alison, your title alone was the perfect way to describe this situation. You have so well put how I’m feeling into words, and I’m sitting here with chills over your last sentence. Because that’s all we can really want for our children…
    Meredith recently wrote…Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus: RevisedMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It is, absolutely.

  • December 18, 2012 Janice

    I’m still struggling to understand why such a thing could happen to so many innocent ones… Although my children are too young to ask questions, and too far to know it’s even happened, I know this tragedy will affect their life somehow too. Ever since that day, I’ve been looking at my children a bit more gently, and with a little more patience. We never know what the next day could bring… I want them to be happy ’til that last hour..whenever that may be.
    Janice recently wrote…Good Ol&#8217; Musical DaysMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I think we’re all changed, in some way.

  • December 18, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I’ve not written one. I seem to be in another world – it was mentioned on the news here, but that’s it (and we don’t watch tv so it was the radio – no images). It’s so hard to connect. But I think I’m glad to sit this one out emotionally – stuff like this hits me so hard and it’s difficult to get over it.

    Peace, my friend.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…A Christmas CarolMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Peace to you too. xo

  • I did not write one, not because I did not want to, but because sometimes there are no words, just tears.
    Beautifully written as always.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…The contents of my handbagMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      I understand, absolutely.

  • December 18, 2012 Alexa

    As usual, you captured all of my sentiments just perfectly. In my former life, this is an event that we planned for, trained for and “practiced” responding to, and always prayed prayed and prayed some more that we would never have to actually put that training into effect. I just cannot comprehend an act of this nature. Hugs to you too.
    Alexa recently wrote…I CanMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      It’s just so difficult, isn’t it? Sigh.

  • December 19, 2012 Rivki Silver

    Oh, Allison, this really made me tear up. I’m so glad that you’re okay after your appendectomy. It *is* a tragedy that it takes something this horrific to give us perspective, but it seems that that’s human nature. Perhaps now our task is to do our best to rise above our nature and to cling to the feeling of how much we truly cherish our children and our loved ones. And to try to behave with civility towards all other humans, to see who could really use a smile or a kind word. To show other people, lonely people, sad people, how someone cares for them.

    I wrote a couple of posts over at my blog – one in shock, the other on what change I would like to see in the world.

    Feel better, have a speedy recovery, and continue to hug your babies.
    Rivki Silver recently wrote…We Need To Change Our Conversation: Stop the Violence In Our LanguageMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for sharing, Rivki. Hug your babies too.
      (also, am fully recovered, thank you)

  • December 19, 2012 Jessica

    My heart aches for the families involved in this tragedy. And in my ache, I am reminded of the families who, around the world, must bury their children daily on account of senseless violence. I’m speechless and heartbroken and reminded that in spite of my “problems,” I have so much to be thankful for. I have my children in their beds right now. They are warm and breathing and alive. And when they wake we will play again. I will clean again and make dinner, again. This routine, I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I have another day with them and another day of this life. And for that, I am and will be forever thankful.
    Jessica recently wrote…Walk slowly in motherhoodMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      You’re absolutely right, Jessica. The day-to-day is something we too often take for granted, for which we must be grateful.

  • December 19, 2012 Leslie

    I just can’t think about it all. If I do I start getting weepy and want to run and hold my girls. So many prayers are needed…I just wish it felt like enough.
    Leslie recently wrote…When Getting Mail is Fun AgainMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      We just do what we can. xo

  • December 19, 2012 Keely

    I seriously cannot stop crying. Sporadically throughout the day- weep fest.

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      *hugs* sweetie. Hugs.

  • December 19, 2012 Robin

    I know. I was the same. I held it in as we were travelling and then spending time with friends, but by late afternoon I was on my phone reading too much. And when I went to bed that night I let it all out. So many tears shed over this.
    Robin recently wrote…Day of SilenceMy Profile

    • December 19, 2012 Alison

      Too many broken hearts. Too many tears. I stopped reading the news after I wrote this. Just too much.

  • December 24, 2012 Katie

    I’ve had a lot of trouble with this tragedy. Lots of anxiety. Sigh. I wrote about it in a couple places, but you’ve been there already (since I am always late to the party).

    Your words are beautiful. Thank you.
    Katie recently wrote…Merry Christmas!My Profile

    • December 25, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for reading mine, and yours were beautiful as always.

  • January 8, 2013 Tonya

    I don’t think I’ve been the same since the Sandyhook shooting. I wrote about it the day of but still have so many thought swirling around my head. It’s a crazy time to be a parent, an educator and most certainly an American.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This was beautiful.
    Tonya recently wrote…SickMy Profile

    • January 8, 2013 Alison

      I think many of us are changed. This is crazy times indeed. Sigh. And thank you.

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