Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2012


On Tuesday, the snow turned to rain, and the rain brought fog. The gingerbread boys went back to school. The youngest participated in an Ellis Island immigration simulation. The children dressed up in historical costumes, chose a name and a country, and with a lucky draw ended up in first or second class accommodations. The rest were shuttled like cattle into steerage.

The outline of a boat was taped off on the gymnasium floor. The children crowded together into the "ship," and one of the teachers read letters from passengers until they reached Ellis Island, heralded by the principal, who was dressed as Lady Liberty. After eating a snack of bananas, which is what immigrants at Ellis Island were given, they were sent to processing for medical, legal, and psychological questioning. You were assigned to be a Special Inquirer, asking the children questions such as, "Are you married? Do you have any money?"

At the end, the children performed choreography to "Coming…


You are haunted by this enormous bad thing. Mercifully, you are given the gift of a snow day, one more day to keep the gingerbread boys home, away from wagging mouths that might take their innocence. You know you can't protect them forever, but from this, you must at least try. It is too horrific for adults to process, let alone the twelve-and-under crowd. Oh, they know something happened, but they are ignorant of the details. You pray they remain so.

You yourself have had nightmares about it; your usual nightmares never connect to reality, but spring forth the strange brainchild of a cross between a post-apocolyptic read and a snack that brings on unimaginable weirdness.

But this.

This is pain. This is grieving. This is scraping the edges of a possibility too awful to contemplate.

Even in your deep faith and knowledge of an eternal life and a loving Father in Heaven, you are stunned by this. Caught in the abyss between nightmares and sleeplessness. Caught in the web of societal p…