Olive has been sleeping later this week; she's still adjusting to the hour time change. It's still dark when she wakes up, and it's been gloomy in the mornings, as we've had days of much-needed rain in Northern California.
I let her sleep on me for a minute before putting her limp body on the changing pad. I opened the blinds to let in the growing light. It was enough to open Olive's eyes. She pointed to the window next to her dresser. We've placed a tiny stool at that window for her so that she could step up and look out the window every morning. It's become a ritual.
I changed her diaper and stood her in front of the stool. She climbed up and held the bottom of the window pane to give herself support. She looked out and declared what she saw:
I coax her into sharing more of her words: "What else do you see LIv? What else to you see?" But she's done sharing her words. For now, she just wants to look out at what to her is the rest of the world.
I look at her tiny back and feel sadder today than most mornings. I woke up this morning, as usual, to NPR news. And I heard from the comfort of my bed about children accidentally shot dead inside of a car because a sibling was playing with a gun he found under the seat. I heard about an Army sergeant's rampage in an Afghan town, killing 16 sleeping people, including children. I hear of a bus carrying vacationing children in Europe crashing and killing all onboard. I hear about accidents and non-accidents. And I try to lessen the burden on my psyche by rationalizing that the accidents could not have been prevented. That they are random occurrences in the universe, leaving just the non-accidents to grapple with.
I think of the pain so many have by experiencing tragedy in everyday life. So much of it happens without even leaving home. Why do we choose to compound it with violence? By keeping guns around and courting it?
I look out the window with Liv, and I worry. I worry that there are no accidents; or worse--that everything is an accident, making everything we do dangerous and potentially tragic.
Intellectually I know that this isn't the way to think about the world. I need to open the blinds and let Liv see as much as possible. But once in a while I prefer to keep the room dark, and to let her sleep a bit longer, not knowing what's out there.