I cannot talk about Christina Taylor Green without starting to cry.
My kids are too old to be sheltered from terrible news. And so I have to talk to them about it. We have been talking about the Tuscon massacre since the weekend, in small doses, with as much reassurance as I can muster. It’s not enough.
Tonight we watched the memorial together. The Bear, who’s eleven, said, “It’s important.” He wanted to watch. The Tiger, who’s seven, wanted to be near us, too, though he was playing with rubberbands and flipping through books and asking when we could watch Simon’s Cat again.
The Bear started to cry when the image of Phyllis Schneck came on screen, as Obama talked about her quilting and churchgoing. “The pictures make them real, Mama,” he said. I think she may have reminded him of his grandma.
When Obama’s speech turned to Christina Taylor Green, I broke down, too. Then Obama said:
I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.
I squeezed the Bear’s hand. He squeezed back and said, “Yes! But something terrible shouldn’t have to happen before we get better.”