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Emigration Diary: The Week Before Christmas

Posted December 19, 2012 by Jenny Foxe in Ramp Specials

There’s not much time left till Christmas. This will be our first living in the United States of America. I bought a special ornament for our tree to commemorate it, a cute little penguin sitting on a ball of wool with 2012 emblazoned across his own woolly jumper. We chose a tree, brought it home and my kids excitedly helped me decorate it. I had brought a small box of the more special Christmas ornaments with us from Ireland and we my canadian pharmacy hung these among the new ones, cute and sparkly reminders of all our Christmases past.

It has been a tough and confusing weekend for a lot of people in America. I was in work on Friday when I first started to see reports of the horrific incident in Newtown. Living on the North Shore of Long Island, Connecticut is directly across the water. We have clientele who often sail across on their boats for day trips, others who work on Long Island but live in Connecticut. It’s commuting distance away. It could just as easily have been my children’s school. I had an overwhelming urge to collect them immediately and when I finally could get to them I held them tight and cried.

I was in work on Friday when I first started to see reports of the horrific incident in Newtown. It’s commuting distance away. It could just as easily have been my children’s school.

What happened in Sandy Hook Elementary school is unfathomably horrific and canadianpharmacy-rxedtop.com tragic and it has affected people deeply. Many people, me included, are finding that even thinking about those children and their poor parents brings tears to the eyes, every time. People are trying not to think about it or talk about it but it seems it can’t be helped. As parcels arrive that I’ve ordered from Amazon, I wonder have those parents to suffer having toys arrive all this week, toys they ordered to make bright young eyes sparkle with excitement, eyes that will senselessly shine no more.

As President Obama addressed the people of Newport on Sunday, I saw Christmas parties in the restaurant go silent as all watched eagerly, waiting for some words of comfort, looking to their leader to make some sense of it, explain it to them somehow, give it some reason or justification, anything to make them stop feeling as they are. Even those who were vocal in voting against him looked to the President to fix it. Of course, he can’t. He spoke well, from the heart and emotionally and he implied he’d do everything in his power to stop it ever happening again but he can’t undo the tragedy. Nobody can. When he had finished reciting the names of the victims, the diners wiped their tears and continued with their festivities. It seems callous but what else can we do right now? As sad as this makes us, we have to go on. We have to make Christmas happy for those who are left. My children’s school has decided not to have a minute’s silence for the victims of Sandy Hook. They don’t want our small children to spend a whole minute reflecting that this could easily have been them. We can’t have our children fearful for their safety in their schools, at the cinema, or in shopping malls. They have got to go on believing that a bad man will not just viagra online bestellen turn up one day and shoot everyone; it is up to us adults to figure out how to make that the truth.

Personally, I’ve been forced to look at the question whether I have put my children at a bigger risk of something like this happening to them by moving them to the United States. There have been ambien cr canadian pharmacy four mass shootings of innocent people just going about their business since we moved here. I’m not aware of any ever in Ireland.

It’s a shame that we’ll have to teach our children that if someone suddenly appears in their life bearing weapons it may not be someone dressed up for a joke and that they should hide or run or play dead.

I struggled with this for a while but ultimately came to the conclusion that the opportunities outweigh the risks. Ireland isn’t without its own risks. Guns may be illegal but living in West Dublin, gang-related shootings were disturbingly common. My own good friend witnessed a violent murder in the estate next to mine, http://canadianpharmacyonline-rxed.com/ shortly after we moved away while walking her dog. It’s a shame that we’ll have to teach our children that if someone suddenly appears in their life bearing weapons it may not be someone dressed up for a joke and that they should hide or run or play dead. It’s a shame our children need to be prepared for bad people in the world but I think that’s a worldwide problem and it isn’t really new. I spent many years as a child living with the constant threat of the ‘stranger in a car’. I guess part of being a child is learning to be as prepared as possible for the bad guys in the world and as parents we just have to hope that ours never meet one.

But, there’s not much time left till Christmas and without forgetting those we’ve lost this year, I’m going to do my best to make it a happy one. I’ll take the children to see Santa in Macy’s and we’ll watch the ice skaters in the Rockefeller Center. We’ll eat turkey and too much chocolate and play some silly games. I’m going to do those crafts I’ve been putting off and bake those sugar cookies they’ve been after. I’ll make another attempt at frosting a gingerbread house even after last year’s sticky, messy disaster. Laws and security policies may well change after recent events and I really hope they do but what has changed most for me is that I’ve realized again how lucky I am to have two healthy, lively children and it’s up to me to do the best I can to make their memories of their childhoods as pleasant as possible.

Merry Christmas – or as I’ve learned to say now that I speak American – Happy Holidays.


About the Author

Jenny Foxe

Jenny thinks the world would be a much better place if we all had musicians following us around playing appropriate music.

  • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

    I welled up again reading this. Just thinking of all those presents and Christmas trees in that town, prepared for a Christmas parents had the reasonable expectation of spending with their kids… the pain is unfathomable.

    • http://twitter.com/jennyfoxe Jenny Foxe

      I know – and not just them but all the children who were present and are traumatised now. I really can’t bear to think about it but it keeps coming back.

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