Thursday Open Thread

We went to Disneyland last night, intending to enjoy the holiday decorations and general Christmas cheer. We didn’t arrive until after 6 p.m., just as the new Candlelight Ceremony and Processional was ending. There was a bottleneck right at the entrance to the park as we waited for 500 choir members to walk by.

I got antsy, then I got tense. I stood there thinking, what if someone shot a gun off right now? What the hell would happen? (For those who missed it, I was at a crowded shopping mall on Saturday, and yes, it happened there. Fortunately, the kids weren’t with us.)

I leaned in to DH and told him, if something goes down, you’re in charge of DS, I’m in charge of DD, we run like hell to safety and convene later via cell phone. I remembered how DH and I got split up in the initial commotion, and the thought of losing the kids in a situation like that was making me a little nuts. DH told me he was having the very same thoughts.

After 10 minutes or so, Main Street was reopened and we were able to move again. Immediately, I felt better. We enjoyed a lovely, crisp, festive evening with the kids. But hours later, I am still angry that those thoughts even entered my mind, and that I felt the need to verbalize them. And I wonder how long I will continue to feel that way any time I’m in a very public place.

On a brighter note, I love the idea of committing 20 Acts of Kindness (or 26) in honor of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. Here are some examples. I’m on board: two acts down, 24 to go.

What’s on your mind today?


35 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. sigh i am once again being accused of being insensitive and not supportive by a friend b/c my brand of support isn’t all hugs and kisses and love and light.. but you know I DO try in my own way don’t I? I’m getting a complex… I know I’m hard to know but … I mean I TRY to come through when it matters…
    sigh… it’s hard to be a Yankee in a touchy feely world…

      • ok that nearly made me cry. I was just totally told off yesterday b/c I was using my own brand of yankee sarcasm to offer support and I ws told I was selfish by “supporting the way I do and not thinking about how others would want to be supported…” sigh.. I swear I can’t win for losing some times!

        • Oh, for pete’s sake. Was it the person you were trying to support or someone else who told you that? Because if it was the latter they should just STFU. (Even the former’s just too touchy–as opposed to touchy-feely–for my blood, but then I’m a Yankee at heart even if I was born a midwesterner.)

          • it was one of my best friends.. her sister is facing a tough time and I also know the sister and had posted a funny message of support on her wall which apparently was not the kind of thing I should have done and deeply upset my friend.. which makes me feel horrible and like I should just shut up pretty much completely …

    • I’m not technically a Yankee..but…I completely understand.

      Here’s what I will say – I don’t like the specific acts of kindness tasks because it has an END. Why must it be tied specifically to THIS event when thousands lose their lives every day to violence and we never know? And why must it be publicly broadcast? Can’t you quietly commit in your heart and life to a daily act of kindness and then just DO IT without talking about it?

      OTOH – I have already likened this to domestic terrorism. Because I totally understand that some people DO feel terrorized and have a heightened sense of anxiety right now. My girlfriend’s local elementary school has reacted way too harshly in both our opinions and is creating an environment that teaches the children fear with locked classroom doors and policemen walking the halls. It might make the adults feel better, but to what end?


      • I am not a fan of the increased police presence at schools. My pleasing view at work is onto an elementary school. When I see them parked across the street it alarms me. My first thought is not that they’re there just in case but instead they’re there because something terrible has happened. If I were driving up to drop off or pick up my kid it would not reassure me.

    • Well, that person can SUCK IT.

      You are incredibly supportive. I STILL have one of the cards you sent me back in 2011 in a place where I can read it when I need to. What I loved most about it was that it didn’t come in the immediate aftermath of our situation with DD, when everyone was sending messages, but later when I really needed it the most.

      Just because your way and form of support isn’t matching her definition, doesn’t mean it is not there.

    • You know that that person’s response is about them and not about you, right? You were the convenient punching bag for that person to act out whatever angst they were feeling at that time. Which is not fair and also a complete misjudgement of you.

      XOXO lovie, they’re wrong. Now come sit next to me and we can sip wine and laugh at the fact that my husband’s biannual movie selection is Le Miz.

    • Oh, pshaw. I mean that stinks that you would get told off that way. But I LOVE your brand of supporting (and Yankee-smacking, occasionally!) and find it bracing.

      But if I understand, your friend is mad at the support you’re giving her sister… not any support you might be giving your friend? Sounds like your friend needs to stop the hell with triangulating. If she’s upset with how you’re supporting HER, she should own that and not bring her sister into it.

      And if that’s the case, dear Katie, I have a word for you: don’t the hell you get sucked into that triangulation. :) Just give your SoD and some dry witty comment about letting her sister speak for herself. Or something.


  2. Is anybody else disturbed by the repeated use of the number 26 in all these stories? Why isn’t anyone including Adam Lanza’s mother in the body count? It’s almost as though people want to blame her for her son’s actions and make her an accomplice instead of a victim.

    • this bothers me greatly…. and has all week long. Someone sent 26 Christmas Trees to Newtown and I thought “what about Nancy Lanza?” now the news up here is all full of how she (who is from NH originally) had just taken a 2 day mini vacation by herself at the Mt Washington hotel, as if going away by yourself is a sign of being unbalanced… It is all so upsetting to me.

      • I can see why people do this, in a way–they think of the shootings at the school as one entity and can’t quite make the connection with Nancy Lanza because she was off-site. I think a lot of the outreach is just targeted at the school. Doesn’t mean I think it’s right, but that’s probably where it comes from.

        I posted this on FB yesterday in a comment thread somewhere, but my university held a memorial mass on Tuesday (we have direct connections to Sandy Hook–one of the adults killed was a student in one of our graduate certificate programs and I think she was placed at the school specifically in an internship for that, and one of the children was the daughter of an alumna). During the mass a reader said, “we pray for the souls of . . . ” and read the first names of all the dead. The last name read was “Adam.” That was the first time (and only, so far) I’d heard any acknowledgment like that. I liked it in that context–even as an atheist I think praying for his soul too is appropriate.

        • that is nice to hear.. no matter what we may think of the tragedy he wrought at his hand there is no denying that his was a troubled soul in need of prayers …

        • Yup – focusing on the number has bothered me too. Particularly because I know a family with a son like that (no, not that mommy blogger!) and I can honestly say if something happened that a) I would not BE shocked if he did turn violent and b) I would defend his parents to the end because I have watched them struggle through the heartache and frustration and being unable to get proper treatment for him.

          I loathe how we feel the need to judge/blame victims.

  3. Erika, I had a similar tense moment today. While shopping at Target it occurred to me that I had better keep DS within arm’s reach at all times. More than once he was skipping pretty far ahead of me, and it just made me nervous. I kept telling him to stay right next to me. I didn’t tell him it was because I wanted to be able to grab him and run or throw myself over him if necessary.

    • Yeah, it flashed across my mind the other night as I sat at the window of the taqueria, watching my boys cross the small plaza to get ice cream cones. At 10 and 11 we’re long past the “hold mommy’s hand” stage, so there’s nothing to do but let them get on with growing up. I realized it won’t be long before they’re closer in age to the teachers who put themselves between the children and the gunman, and it won’t be any easier for me as a parent.

  4. Finally – finally – sent out the last edition of my magazine after dramz with a contributing columnist. Argh. I just need to do the social media thing and yo, I’m on vay-cay-shun!!!

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