I feel awkward asking

Kearney, NE. Hotel. We lucked into a cheap suite with a queen bed, pull out couch, seating, and a window seat. Outside, it is snowing sideways. All day. 14 degrees and dropping.

Jared is sprawled on the floor, face down.

Beren says, "Get up! Get up, or I'm going to be late for school!"

This is funny for several reasons. First, neither Jared nor I have ever said that, not in so many words anyway. Second, Beren has never been roused from sleep in such a way. Third, he home schools.

This is sad for several reasons. After we are done laughing, I think, "Baby, I am glad you don't go to school." You know, because you hated it, kiddo. And, that's where somebody else's baby got shot.


Because somebody's baby got shot, I am not going to discuss theories, laws, or mental health. I am going to ask some questions.

Somebody's baby got shot. Many of us are shocked. Many of us are fearful. Angry. For all kinds of reasons. Look around, everyone's angry about something. 

Somebody's baby got shot, and it will happen again. Just happened somewhere in this world as I finished typing the word 'shot'. Somewhere, a little person pin sticking out of this pin cushion globe got plucked; somewhere, a person like a piece of hair standing on end on top of someone's head got plucked.

Doesn't it ache, thinking about that mother who's gotta pick up her kid's bloody affects from some cold place she never imagined she'd have to go? Maybe she was really ticked off at her kid earlier that day and didn't say goodbye properly that morning.

Doesn't it sting, thinking about that father who's gonna be that father for the rest of his life? Maybe he looked at his kid with abiding and endless love that morning, and now all he gets is to be that father who only gets to look at photographs of his kid until that father dies himself.

And the brothers and sisters left behind. What of them?


What of the person who brings pain to others?


Is this a fair question to ask? I can't imagine taking someone's life, can you? It makes my skin crawl. I feel awkward asking, but here we are.