There are no words

This weeks post can’t be fashion related. It just can’t. I tried to think of writing something else but it all just seemed too insensitive. And I know there are people who just can’t keep reading about what happened in Connecticut. I completely respect that so please feel free to stop reading here and come back next week for something back on topic.

I did not start out to write a blog. I wanted to start a website, an online billboard of sorts to advertise my consultation services. I soon realized that in order to be invited into someone’s home, specifically their closet, I had to offer something more of myself on my website. A chance for a prospective client to get to know me, to make sure we are a good fit for a working relationship. So I started to share more and it evolved into a (almost) weekly blog. I try to make each post to be as if you are having a conversation with me. I want to try and make you laugh, inspire you, and give you some fashion advice. I sometimes hit the mark on all three and other times I am way off course with my babble. But I promise you it is always my voice. The best part has been hearing you as readers speak back to me. Whether it has been at the grocery store, kids’ school,  or through social media your comments and feed back mean more to me than you could ever imagine. This week’s post is just a share of sorts of what I feel like I need to say.  And I would love to hear any feed back or advice.

Friday morning I had a cookie exchange with my dear friends. We chatted and laughed the morning away. I then went on to a toy store to Christmas shop for the kids. Only later in the afternoon did I check Facebook and start seeing posts about prayers. I had only a short time by myself between when I arrived home, and before my kids were to get off of the school bus. Barely enough time to garner any information on the news, but enough time for the emotional tsunami that ensued.  Frequently I find myself looking at that school bus drop off time as a deadline of sorts, a time to get “it” all in before they get home. “Oh I only have 1 hour left to myself before they get off the bus! Better hurry!”, is how I have felt lately amidst the holiday rush. Knowing that when they get home there will be papers to cleanup, snacks to be made, and days to chat about, my “me” time stops. How very selfish of me.

On Friday it was all I could do to stop crying and pull it together before the bus pulled up. Usually I am too busy and just open the front door when I hear the bus. On Friday I waited at the end of the driveway, so very anxious for that bus to arrive. The kids got off the bus and I choked back so many tears. I hugged them extra tight, gave them whatever snack they wanted. Listened to them, REALLY listened to them about their day.

We had plans for our friends to come over that night with their children. Both sets of families agreed not to discuss the events of that Friday morning. Our children together ranged from 6-9 and we did not want them to find out. I felt anxious in the quiet of our home. I turned on Christmas music. Distracted the kids from watching any tv for fear they might catch something even when changing the channel. I busily prepped the house for our guests. I felt guilty but Friday was relaxing. The adults chatted about everything and anything (except the current news situation). We made pizzas. The kids watched Christmas movies. Life was ignorant bliss.

The kids went to bed and I turned on the news. Add in a few glasses of wine and I was a mess. My husband and I picked the kids up from their respective beds and snuggled them into ours. All four of us sleeping fitfully and sweaty, too many for one bed. The kids couldn’t understand why they woke up in our bed. I couldn’t understand how the parents in Connecticut had the strength to wake up at all.

Saturday morning we went about our day again without tv. We had dinner out with my sister and her family that night, facing the kids away from the tv sets in the restaurant.  You forget they are everywhere until you are  trying to avoid them.

That night I wavered between how much to watch and what to ignore. Don’t watch because it feeds the media beast and aids the criminal in creating some kind of legacy. Do watch to honor the victims and their families so very brave to speak. To hear the stores of the heroic teachers. I felt guilty with either decision. I did not sleep well.

Sunday morning we awoke and played board games with the kids followed by a lovely brunch and a walk around town. Snuck a peek at the tv to see they were reporting the victims ages, most the same as my son. Quickly turned the tv off as the kids came into my room. We took the kids to their ice skating lessons, came back and played more games. Games that usually sit unplayed with because we are too “busy” texting, watching tv or just doing errands. The dishes sat in the sink, the laundry in the washer. It could all wait.

This morning came and I didn’t want my kids to go to school. They are out of my control and my protection. Both physically and with what others may say to them today. In the true innocence of children they think they had the best weekend ever because mommy and daddy spent so much time with them. I usually turn the news on in the morning while making breakfast and prepping lunches. Today I took the time to make the kids pancakes. Today the kids library books were due. We have checked out and re-checked out the same group of books for while now. Always meaning to read them but never getting around to it. This morning was quiet and I was focused. We had extra time. The kids took the time and actually read their library books to me before getting on the bus.  A nice change of pace from trying to fit it all in at night when their  little bodies and minds are so very tired.

It is terrible that it took such a tragedy for me to slow down, to appreciate their endless questions, their messy fingerprints, their powerful hugs. In such a dark time in our country a small light came on in our house this past weekend. I hope I can remember to keep it properly lit.

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image via Pinterest

I know I can’t be the only one who altered my parenting perspective this past weekend. I can tell from all the Facebook posts of friends who put their children on the school bus with a heavy heart and a lot of extra hugs. Do you have any tips for dealing with major tragedies? Do you shut down or read up? Do you talk to your kids or keep them sheltered? I need insider tips from others because I am at a loss.

As always thanks for reading,


Published by suziegaffney

owner at Suzie Gaffney Styling

12 thoughts on “There are no words

  1. Well written! I think you handled the situation like a pro and loved your take away of slowing down…i think we could all use a dose of that!

  2. Beautifully said, Suzie! At a time like this its a battle to focus on the positive, but showering the kids with love and attention helps lift the heavy hearts. Give H & F a hug from us.

  3. I’m at a loss too. I go from obsessively reading every article I can to shutting it all out and trying to pretend it didn’t happen. They talked about it in school with my 8 year old. I wasn’t prepared for that as I hadn’t spoken to her about it yet so we had that very difficult conversation last night. She was devastated and it was hard but I’m glad that I was able to answer her questions. I simply cannot imagine how the parents in CT are coping. Hugs to your family Suz!!

    1. I am sure you did incredible at answering her questions, no matter how unprepared you felt. I am dreading the day I can no longer hide this kind of thing from them. Thanks for the hugs and same to you and your family 🙂

  4. That was a beautiful post that hits home to everyone for sure. Thank you for sharing it was very nice to read as we can all relate. I spoke with my 9 year old about what happened but chose not to include my 5 year old in the discussion. I am very happy I did speak to him about it, he came home from school yesterday saying other kids were talking about but he was confident knowing what I told him. He didn’t need to partake in any discussion in school. It is a very scary time, I don’t have any answers or solutions. I do know that I will keep parenting in a way that strongly objects to any kind of bullying. I think bullying has a huge consequence in tradegies like these. I teach my children if they pick on someone, that person might grow up and pick on innocent people to let out their own pain. Spread peace and love, accept others and you will feel happy and proud of who you are everyday.

    Wishing you a very Happy Holiday!

    1. Kathy Thank you for sharing your experience as well. I think reinforcing the consequences of bullying is so important. Happy Holidays to you and your family too 🙂

  5. It is such a shame that it takes something like this to happen for MOST of us to step back and truly BE with our children, LISTEN to our children and SEE our children. So often you just go about your day as if every day you have with them is just one of many … I cant even imagine what those families in CT would give up right now to have just one more day with their loved ones, one more minute …

    I did not talk to Cole about it either … on Monday I received an email from his teacher that she heard that another student (Kindergarten mind you) was giving the other students “graphic details” about Fridays horrific events .. while I still believe 5 is too young to hear this type insane sadness it is hard to think your child could find this all out from someone other then their parents .. someone not telling them about it with compassion and love but rather fear and horror. So now I am back to feeling lost as to what to do.

    Wonderful post as always Suz … left tears streaming down my face. I so appreciate how “real” your posts. xo

    1. Kate-I too am scared that they will find out from someone else instead of me taking the time and finding the tight words to talk to them. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your feelings. It means so much.

  6. Very emotional and well written post Suz. I am crying again. You are and always have been an amazing mother. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us. They mirror mine exactly. Love ya!

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