Goodbye, Baby!

As a former TV journalist in Southeastern, North Carolina, I reported on a lot of news. I covered events or stories that could be silly, interesting, dumb, irritating, joyful, and unfortunately, tragic. I was on the scene of fatal wrecks, murders, hostage stand-offs, and was even listening in the courtroom as a teenager was given the death penalty.

It was my job to report on those tragic events. At the time, I was just a single, self-absorbed girl in my twenties, and it was fairly easy for me to go home to my cat, Rover, and forget about the day and not think about the people who were hurting from the news I reported on earlier. But, I can tell you now that if I held that same job today then I would be a basket case of emotions, and I think it is because I feel things differently now as a parent.

Stories like the tragic death of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Greene in Arizona makes me nauseas, and I hurt for her parents, her grandparents, and her brothers or sisters if she has any. I barely can control tears when I think about this vibrant young girl who was so excited for her future role on student council. I feel for all the victims and their families in this senseless tragedy, but the death of this little girl may actually haunt me for a long time.

I saw Christina’s picture on KVOA.com as I sat down at the computer tonight to write. She has the same birthday of my mother-in-law which is September 11th, and ironically, little Christina was actually born in 2001 on a day that we tragically remember well.

My original plan was a light-hearted piece on Little L because she is 14 months old today, and this is the third night in a row that we didn’t give her a bottle before bed. She’s been fine drinking out of her cup. I think she's telling us, “Bye, Bye Baby! Hello Toddler! Well, she isn’t saying anything actually. The only word out of her mouth is “Dada”. Truthfully, it’s been bugging me for awhile that she only says “Dada”, and it’s become a joke in the house. On a recent car trip, Big W actually got Little L to chant “Dada” when I asked her to say, “Mama”. The whole car was chanting it except me. I probably had a look on my face that read, “Is this what I have to put up with these days? I take care of both of my children all day long, and they are chanting, “Dada”! I smile as I write this now, but I probably even thought about saying a four-letter cuss word when it was going on in the car.

Well, truthfully, I want to say a cuss word about the senseless death of a beautiful little girl whose life was taken way too soon yesterday by a gun. As my children are safe in their beds tonight, I can go to bed thinking that maybe Little L will say “Mama” tomorrow or the next day or even next month. But, Christina’s parents aren’t as fortunate. I think about how they would love to be able to hear her laugh, see her fall in love, and hear her say again, “Mom, Dad, I love you!”

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone tonight as we grieve over this tragic news.

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