I got back from my ride this morning to a link sent to my by my wife. It was for a piece on the shooting in Sandy Hook. My day took a nose dive I could not have anticipated, one that I struggle to understand.
I know no one who has been able to take the recurring shootings here in the U.S. in stride, anyone who has been able to process these in a way that leaves them unscathed. But this one is different because so many of the victims were children. We speak of how children are our future and while that’s true, what we see when we look at children isn’t the future, not mine, not yours. What we see is potential.
I’d like to think potential is what keeps so many of you coming back to RKP week after week. The bicycle is a means to an unknown but better future. It’s a good time waiting to happen. It’s an expression of a better, stronger, smarter us. It’s a fresh connection, a new friend, a strengthened bond with on old friend, the thread of our social fabric. It’s a bee line out of the doldrums, faster acting than Prozac, and a chance to see something remarkable with each new turn.
My love of the bicycle has, I hope, taught me something of how to love my son. He is nothing if not potential with a heart beat. He might race bikes. He might take up gymnastics. He might play soccer. He could easily do all of those things—in the same week. I don’t really care which of them he does. It’s been enough to see him have fun and to watch how the possibilities play out. He’s that book of a lifetime, the story that I can’t wait to see unfold. I don’t care where the story goes, even if it leads to stoner Xbox addict. I’m willing to give him the room to explore the great big world.
When I think of all those families in Sandy Hook, my heart breaks. All those lives, all those stories we’ll never see play out. Who knows what those kids might have done. A cure for cancer, an Olympic Gold medal, President of the United States—they were tales unwritten; they might have done anything.
Go hug the people you love.