My IdeaLife

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Monday, 15 April 2013

How to catch a star

We have reams of books for the boys, partly because I read to them from when they were five weeks old, and partly because my lovely mother-in-law makes a point of buying them both a book every time she sees them. Like everything there are varying levels and purposes for these books, some are jigsaws, some are colour books, touch and feel, numbers, first words, animals or nursery rhymes but by far my favourites are those that have a good story and beautiful illustrations. And arguably the king of, in my view the best kind of children's book, the illustrated story book, is Oliver Jeffers




My favourite has to be The way back home, followed closely by Lost and Found, that is also a most beautiful short film too (see trailer below). But really whatever Oliver Jeffers I pick up, I have yet to be disappointed. The beauty, humour and adventure of each one moves me to a better place every time. 



Which book makes you happy? Do tell...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Oatmeal...that is all


If resting on the 7th day is good enough for God then I'm in too, so here's a cartoon that is so true it makes me laugh until I cry... 


On that note The Oatmeal and an early night are going to make me happy. 
What are you grateful for today?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Poetry rocks! no seriously...

I didn't know spoken word poetry would make me happy, in the same way interpretive dance or performance art normally doesn't, unless you count sniggering at someone else's unfortunate career choice as happiness. I didn't know this despite Poetry and I having quite a history - in all those black hard cover journals in the attic there are so many poems, some quite bad and others woeful (when I am doing my month on misery, Maysery, I will share some of them...my pleasure), but I wrote a lot of poetry as only a super-drama queen can. 


I remember receiving an unpublished book of poems from an aspiring poet(snigger) and he misguidedly wanted my feedback. Even back then, (my late 20s aka the decade of mega-delusion), I knew what made a bunch of words on a page, magical and it is the simplest and the hardest thing in the world: BEING REAL. Who you are, how you feel, what you think has to scream from the page loudly and genuinely to make words sing. Otherwise it is an essay, it has been said before, heard before and sounds awfully like someone trying to be someone they're not... and that gets boring real fast (I oughtta know). Of course earnestly believing in "being real" I didn't hold back and let him know in no uncertain terms how lacking his cryptic words without heart were. 

The truth is it is REALLY hard to be REAL, poor guy. It is scary! I am constantly thinking, "what if so and so reads this or that, they will think I am mental!", then I remember that if they know me they already think that so the game is sort of up already.  

Seriously though, it does take courage to be real in writing and about ten times that to be real to someone's face. And that is why I love this particular spoken word poet - Sarah Kay. In her Ted talk she says that "the number 1 rule of being cool today is to appear unphased" and she quite rightly goes on to imply that sort of fakeness ends up cutting you off from life, and more importantly doesn't allow you to connect with people. Connecting with people is in our DNA, it is what we truly crave and what makes us very happy. She would rather be truly engaged with the world, the good and the bad....even if that means being "uncool" (does that mean being daggy is at last cool? - did I just write that - oops). 

Here is the last poem from her Ted talk (full version here), that shows that there is one thing she does know about life and that it is worth trying at, it is worth being a little phased, life is like that, so just be, but be IN it. 



I also found this one after watching  the one above and it is gorgeous in it's truth and whimsy. I hope Sarah Kay makes you happy too. 




P.S. Thanks to Mike for suggesting I watch this - you were right she rocks!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Toddlers...& not just when they're sleeping


Motherhood was a crazy shock to me - as you can probably tell from my earlier sleep-deprived blog posts. But even then (and sometimes now when I'm being smashed in the head with a plastic golf club) I had felt love that I had never experienced before and without hesitation I can say that my children make me happier than anything in this world - being a Mum is a pure privilege and a joy as you can see from the small collection of gorgeousness above.

Share a picture that captures the pure joy of your munchkins here or on twitter with the hashtag #happyril

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Bloggess! that is all.

Ok so was going to do a selection of posts from any number of wonderful bloggers that have made me happy or made me p1ss myself laughing or preferably both. Then someone called Jenny Lawson happened and despite being inspired by her and her 5ft metal chicken in the past, I realised I had to dedicate a whole blog post to just her blog posts - so today is about THE bloggess - another day in Happyril, that mythical and weird place in time that some people just call April, I will share the love amongst other very humourous bloggers. 

The reason Jenny Lawson makes so many people happy is because (as if I know!?) she is not only an amazingly talented writer, but she is also real in an extreme sense and SO generous. I know this because if you have over 300,000 tweeps following you and you sometimes get over 3000 comments on your blog, you don't have to answer inane questions from small mummy bloggers from Australia... but she does! And that's why I love her, that and her stuffed squirrels, warm my little heart. 



This is what happens when Plato and The bloggess cross paths! Source here

Today I give you: 

1. The one about the meth lab and the first post of Jenny's I ever read

2. The one where you realise why Jenny suffers from anxiety . 

3. The one about jizz

4. The one with random phone messages that make me feel strangely comfy

I'm going to stop sharing now because once you go to her site you'll get stuck - it's like Pinterest for people with no taste who can't go a day without craving and then failing to resist imperfection and wrongness. Hopefully you'll get stuck there too, hopefully that is not an insult hmmm? 

Is there a blogger that makes you happy... or is Jenny all that for you too?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

5 steps to happy goggles



This amazing TED talk by Shawn Achor not only knocks the lid off the misconceptions around happiness but gives you a methodology that takes only 21 days that promises to help change your outlook on life! That means by the end of #HAPPYRIL you'll definitely be HAPPY!

Namely every day for 21 days: 
  • Write down three new things you are grateful for
  • Record one positive experience in a journal
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Do random acts of kindness, like a positive email to someone
But worth watching the lot as this guy is on to something here and it is a damn sight more interesting than our trained existence.


I am going to try it out - let me know if you are too.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Never Give Up

When I was seven I took Piano lessons. Like most seven year olds I didn't like to practice. My teacher, Mrs Thomson, was pretty hard core and was perpetually frustrated with my lack of practice at home as I made little progress between lessons. I did learn to read music and I did learn to play at a basic level. I lasted about two years but the thought of taking exams paralysed me with fear. You see it wasn't just laziness, even at such a young age I was terrified of failure, so much so that I sabotaged myself so as to stay in control of the situation. If I was going to fail, I wasn't going to fail while trying, so I didn't, I quit instead. 

It was a safe existence, but a soul-destroying path I was venturing down, and unbeknowns to me I was in the early stages of avoiding disappointment and pain really well. I don't know what part of my childhood did this, but I became acutely aware that on the other side of trying was supposedly devastation. Devastation because the world would find out you weren't perfect. 

Recently my three old started to cry badly before swimming lessons. He definitely wanted to quit. I saw hideous fear in my little boy's gorgeous blue eyes, and I fought hard with my instinct to wrap him in my arms and take him home. The one thing that stopping me was the massive flash back to my own fears in childhood and I knew if he faced his fear, instead of quitting, it would be a better outcome and not just for his ability to swim. 

The first week was the worst, so much so the lifeguard asked me to leave the pool area so Bang would stop crying and staring at me. Only 7 mins of the 30mins had smiles. The week after he arrived back home with Dad who had brought him home straight away, feeling that it was disrupting the class too much. Back in the car Bang and I went, me coaching him all the way there on how good he would feel after he overcame his fears. The tears started again as we neared the pool but this time only lasted 10mins, and were quickly replaced by a broad smile of accomplishment. 

Facing fears requires concentration...calm before the big smiles!
The week after that Bang bravely let his swimming teacher pour water over his head. Four weeks in he poured water over his own head in the bath for the first time, the experience of which created an expression that in the three years I have known him I had never seen before. With the biggest smile ever, pure joy erupted from his face as he looked up at me and shook the water off with pride and a renewed sense of his own ability and strength. 

This proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that courage and happiness are closely related. Understanding your fear and accepting it as normal, and then pushing past it with no expectations of success or brilliance, just getting past the fear and doing something you're scared of - it is an amazing thing and we underestimate its power. We also overestimate how hard it is to help someone persevere.  We only had to endure approximately 30mins of anguish to get to those big gorgeous smiles.

"All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage and great things will happen. I promise"
Benjamin Mee, zoo owner (His story in the movie "We bought a zoo")


What I realise now is that those little choices to quit instead of try are like taking a small pick to your self-esteem, knocking little bits of self-belief off every time. And luckily I have realised in time for the beginning of my own children's lives that if I can help them face their own fears, and instil in them a sense of courage and resourcefulness, then they will always know that anything is possible. And hopefully for me I will still have half a life to lead with courage and passion.


What fears would you like to face? 

Monday, 8 April 2013

20 songs to make you smile

If you have read a lot of this blog you will know that I blog about the music I love, and more and more so as I come out of the baby haze. It is also timely that The Voice started again in Australia last night and the song selections were pretty amazing, including one of my big faves Blackbird.

With relatives like this you can see why I love music! The Saitta boys (Dad's on the left)
So for #hAppyril it seems only fitting to compile a list of songs that move me to a better place. Sometimes its tears at the beauty of a song, or the memories a song can conjure, whatever it is these songs feel like they are the soundtrack to my life. 


What songs move you?


p.s. If the songs won't play here check out my Spotify playlist instead or if you're a tenacious type go to your browser plugins and check whether your Quicktime plugin is working (I had to disable it, restart Chrome and then re-enable it). 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Happiness is a toddler asleep


Have a restful Sunday...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Drink and be merry

Today's happy post will I know make many happy, as it is about wine, sweet wine. Last year reseachers from the University of California proved at last what has long been speculated, that is that alcohol releases endorphins in the areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. 

Here's someone who's seen a lot of Mums and knows exactly what they need: 


Before you down that 3rd glass here's the bad news: 
"Researchers say low to moderate doses of alcohol release feel-good chemicals, while high doses appear to fail to release them and may stimulate other systems in the brain leading to anxiety and depression." (Read the full article here)

I suppose it all depends on your definition of low to moderate, my take on it is demonstrated in this picture:

and this one:


 Anyway you don't want to end up like Miles in SideWays so maybe don't take Woody's advice and stick to two, as long as it's not Merlot.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The opposite of Freedom...wait what?

Picture an over-achiever at the Easter Show. She is a Mum, she has two children and a husband with her and she has a program in her hand. She has the time it takes 2 and 3 year old boys to lose their minds at lunch (about 10 minutes if she's lucky) to chart a course through the rest of the day that will make it the greatest day and a day worthy of fighting thousands of people, strollers, goats and showbags. 

As you have probably gathered I am that person and I am telling you now as my brain computed the program: Alvin and the Chipmunks at 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, Flying and Diving Pigs 2pm and 4pm, Shaun the sheep at 12.30 and 1.30, Pat a pig at 2pm and 4pm, Woodchopping 1.30, 3.30, 4.30 and so on and so forth; I was not happy. I was getting miserable not being able to compute the travel time between the Davidson stadium, the Kids Tent, the big arena and the Pig & Goat Shed. And crossing that with the fact that we had to end up near the entrance at the end of day was driving me slightly insane. All I wanted at that point was one clear choice. 

This was not planned and wouldn't have happened if I had figured out the perfect route
The thing is if I had watched this video I may have already known that the difference between the perfect route around the Easter Show and the eventual path we took driven by a three year old's tantrum which lead to a new kind of hell (having to enter the Showbag hall) was incredibly minimal. I could have been spared the angst and anxiety I went through for a good hour after I left that lunch table, not to mention my husband, who copped a fair amount of vitriol due his "I don't care as long as we ended up at the entrance around 4.30pm" attitude. 

Any way don't watch this when you are tired, it does require some concentration but it is fascinating in its revelation that freedom of choice does not equal happiness.   


What do you think? Willing to give up some choices to be happy?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dare to dream

Source: 25facts.com
I love this video, it reminds me of the speech Steve Jobs gave to Stanford students which inspired me no end. I am not sure yet that I have stopped to think about what I really want to do, I actually think that you have to know yourself very well to actually work out what would make you feel fulfilled in life. It's a tricky one but as this is not a practice run, it may be one spending some time on. 

Once you've figured it out you need courage and a lot of it, you also need no dependents or mortgages or other trappings that tend to happen after the age of 30, so if you are not there (I am!) then take a leap and dare to dream of living the life you imagined for yourself when you were wideeyed and too young to know how not to be brave. 


Are you doing what you love?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

10 movies that made me PML

Milton and his stapler from Office Space
I adore laughter and frankly life is far too serious for me most of the time. So I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to see the funny side of things, even in corporate meetings, what can I say? wisdom and humour don't always go hand in hand. I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a funny person, one of my particularly funny friends often reminds me of this, as does my hubby, but you know, points for trying please. For instance I am no where near as funny as The Bloggess or Joe Hildebrand, although putting those two in the same sentence is sort of funny. 

Anyway my point is, not for me to make you laugh directly but indirectly and so I share my top ten movies that have made me howl, roar and p1ss my p@nts laughing; they are in no particular order otherwise my shanty town for a brain would get too lost: 

1. a recent one - The Five-Year Engagement
2. a modern day monty python type one - The Trip
3. Does Seinfeld's Ugly Baby episode count? (breathtaking!)
4. a dysfunctional one - Home for the Holidays
5. another dysfunctional one - Sideways
6. in the words of my hubby, a really weird one - I heart huckabees
7. Ok because I should have said ten - Knocked Up
8. because will ferrell just is - Step Brothers
9. because Maude is my hero - The Big Lebowski
10. because I worked in Advertising - Crazy People
11. and finally because Seinfeld is not a movie - Office Space



Laugh a little - stuff that - laugh until you snort your drink out your nostrils! Research loosely shows it improves your immune system and reduces stress - so worth a bit of germy liquid spraying on your lucky dinner guest me thinks... or in my case I'll be targeting my really "funny" friend - you know who you are. 


P.S. And if you do crave the more serious side of happiness - check out yesterday's post where a real researcher has unlocked the secret that happy people inherently know. 


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

What is HAPPINESS?

How do you define happiness? 
The dictionary says: 
delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person. and characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy:a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.

Simple right, just be delighted and pleased and smile alot? Well not so much. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics nearly half (45%) of all Australians have experienced a mental disorder at least once in their life, and most commonly anxiety and depression are the culprits.

The thing is as much as happiness is elusive, defensive and aggressive behaviours based on fear and pride are running rife, smothering the workplace, the home, sport and schools. I was lucky enough to attend a course recently for work, HeartStyles, that lifted the lid on why we behave like this, and exposed how we are spreading unhappiness between us as fast as a cold virus can sneeze and cough its way through a peak hour bus.

The premise they lead with was how the vast majority of people have a good heart and good intentions. As they move through life wounds and voids occur and often work to crowd out the goodness as we protect and defend ourselves from having to suffer again. Our once vulnerable self is covered by a dark wall that lets nothing and no-one in to hurt you again. This is when happiness really becomes a huge struggle. Brené Brown, a researcher "storyteller" from the US explains it so well in her TED talk below. 



The courage to be imperfect and show imperfection to others. 
I love every minute of what she has to say - basically she has found that if we are going to be happy vulnerability is key. Her research shows that those people that are happy are living wholeheartedly, being vulnerable with the knowledge that they could get hurt. And even more interestingly they strongly believe they are worthy of love in spite of their imperfection. 


For the sake of our children
We can't escape our parents, you will become your mother, the good and unfortunately the bad stuff passes down the line. Our behaviour gets hardcoded into the neural pathways of our children, and even more so our whole outlook on life. Our anxiety when their imperfections start to show is SO damaging to their worthiness and like Brené says "Our job is not to keep them perfect but to realise they are imperfect and hard-wired for struggle...our job is to make sure they know they are worthy of love and belonging." 

I can't think of any better reason than looking into the beautiful unaffected eyes of my two sons to find a way to be grateful and wholehearted about my life. Maybe by doing so I can start to really get on this single ride I've got in this big theme park called life. We only get one chance at it and quite frankly I'm tired of not throwing my arms in the air and screaming with unbridled joy. 

Do you want to get on too? or are you on it already and can share what it feels like to us who are still holding back? 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Getting HAPPY! Time for #HAPPYRIL

Last year when the Puberty Blues trailer came on and Dragon's Marc Hunter sang "Are you old enough?" my stomach twirled in two and wrapped itself around my heart. The memories washed over me, the summer heat, the beach, my first kiss, my wideeyed expectations of what my life was going to be. 

What I didn't know then and I'm only just discovering now some 20 years later is that I was looking for my life outside of myself. A tall gorgeous man, a career, money and an enviable existence  were going to make me happy, because if I got them I will have made it and if I made it I'd be satisfied because I would have proved them wrong. Them being the boys that broke my heart, the ones that made fun of me being half-italian, the ones that looked down on me for this reason or that, and the worst kind, the dumb beautiful people that rarely knew what I was talking about, but proving they were not so dumb, made sure I felt their inadequacy more than them. 

For the sake of this little HAPPY face, I declare April - HAPPRIL! 
So off I went, foot to the floor, achievement after achievement. Whatever I put my mind to I succeeded at, I wanted to be a designer, I got hired by the top Sydney firm, I wanted to be in advertising, I won a Cannes and got offered a role in New York, I wanted to go back to Marketing, I got a job in a global multinational, I wanted, I wanted, I wanted. Mainly because whatever I got, wherever I ended up wasn't enough. Like a junkie I wanted more because that happiness, that satisfaction I had expected to bask in, kept eluding me. 

This is the part where you expect I say having children cured all that and I am at last satisfied. Well the twist is, that little overused chestnut, is BS of the finest form. Motherhood doesn't cure completely misunderstanding the world, instead it suddenly puts immense pressure on working out quite quickly where you are effing up, so you don't inadvertently turn your perfect little people into anxiety-ridden, fame hunters. 

Thing is, life is a lot harder and more complex than I ever imagined. The first time my heart was broken it took me so badly by surprise my stomach still knots when I think of it. Having now seen the Brené Brown video (see tomorrow's post) I realise that I was not trained to be vulnerable, in fact I was taught the way to navigate life was to be very, very careful. And I was not trained to feel worthy, I was judged harshly by someone very close to me and my brain just interpreted that to mean if I wanted to be worthy I would have to fight hard to be something more than who I was. Which of course was a recipe for disaster, not on the face of it as it drove me to be an over-achiever but behind the successful face of it there's a fearful and defensive soul fighting to accept being just me. 

Well I don't know if any one else feels this way but what I know now is that we are all worthy of love and acceptance, we are enough in our own skin, flaws and all. And so I am declaring April - HAPPYRIL - a month to get happy. Happy with your life, your personality, your achievements, your place in the world, your relationships, but mostly to get happy  with being you

I am going to be posting as much as I can, posts about how to get happy, videos, ted talks, experiences, sayings, stupid movies and sharing what others are saying along the way. 

Want to get HAPPY with me?
Join me for #HAPPYRIL and please share your thoughts too! (despite the ridiculous name!)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Small Bump, Huge tears: the agony of miscarriage

I am sharing this song because although it is likely to do to you what it did to me, namely make you spontaneously burst into tears, which arguably isn't that pleasant, it is too beautiful not to. 

The scans of my unmade plans


What an unbelievably rare talent, Ed Sheeran is that he can capture so perfectly the hope and love that happens even before you meet a baby. It defies all logic but nonetheless the love is palpable and I would know as I only got to meet two of my four. 

I know I am one of the lucky ones but even so I still remember the shocking emotional agony of my miscarriages. There are people all around the world trying to define at what point divided cells become life - for me it is that first magical moment of connection. Eight weeks later when a once beating heart was no longer, there was no comfort in knowing how early or how developed or not, because a new life had died before it had lived, and all the hopes and dreams I had attached to this very small person died suddenly with it. 

My comfort came in the form of another two babies and although I knew they were different and unique lives, they were still new and perfect with wonderous eyes and gorgeous potential. But this song reminds me of the cruelty of miscarriage and the absurdity of losing the love of your life and all of those precious unmade plans...

"Hold on tight, it'll be alright" xxx

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Turning Tables: discovering first loves again

When I was 16 I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that I wouldn't actively listen to music for about three years in a row. In fact at 30 I still wouldn't have believed you. Music was integral to my existence, my soul and my body, which was more often than not, moving to it. 


Pass-times can be one of those sneaking casualties of becoming a parent, especially if you end up going back to work, like me. The only music that made it past the turning point of birth were my wedding compilation albums, the occasional superb song like Foster the People's Pumped up kicks and the three songs I sing to the boys at bedtime; Close to you, Evergreen and Someone to watch over me. 

Well am happy to report a cool phase has begun with my babies now big enough for me to start remembering loves, pre- the biggest love of my life. One of them has been my hubby, but that's another less G-rated blog post and as you've probably guessed, the other is listening, playing, dancing and singing. 

Triple J has some really annoying DJs, but when they are not talking they are still educating Australia on the latest and best music ever made. And if classics are not your strong point then I can't recommend the first five series of Glee highly enough, with soundtracks of whole generations captured in a new and creative way. 

Anyway it wouldn't be a useful post if I didn't share a favourite that hopefully becomes a part of the soundtrack for your life too. And if it is anything like mine, the tables have turned again.


  What have you rediscovered that the baby years briefly took away?


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Why are there so many Santas Mummy? and other unanswerable Christmas questions

Man Christmas is exhausting, not because of the queues, which by the way are insane, not because of having to choose and then, in case you thought you were going to make it through alive, wrap an inordinate number of presents and not because your kids have decided that holiday time is the perfect time to start backyard UFC. Christmas is exhausting because it is the one time of year you have to lie, in a very detailed and twisted way for an extended period of time. 

Source: The Sunday Times  (Kai Wiechmann)
It is so stressful that I have already had discussions with certain relatives about whether they sign Santa or Nanna & Pop on the card, which I responded in utter desperation and confusion, 
"Aren't all the presents at this age from Santa?"

Apparently not I am told . And this conundrum leads to the next: 

"If Santa brings all the presents can some presents arrive under the tree beforehand?"

"And if they do, how did they get there?" My answer today after putting a selection of gifts out was "Santa brings some in advance". And before you think this was a question from an extremely astute three year old, I was answering to an adult. Effing hell this is complex and not at all the fun thing I thought it would be. 

How can you have a tree sit there for four weeks without any presents under it? 

If Santa only delivers on Christmas Eve the tree looks complete for all of about 6 hours when everyone is asleep and about the five minutes I know it will take a 2 and 3 year old to rip every present into a pile of paper that could fuel a small power station for a week.

So here I sit with three sleeps to go thinking I can't wait for the phase where the now blissfully ignorant Mr 2 & 3 start to go through the logistics themselves and ask questions like: 
"How is Santa in so many places at the same time?" 

Which I remember distinctly quizzing my parents about, their answer was that all the different shop Santas that you see, sometimes in one shopping trip, are not really Santa, they are his helpers...WTF! Even back then it didn't quite make sense and sparked the beginning of the end of my belief in the big red man. 

What ridiculous stupidity have you blurted out this year in the name of keeping the reindeer flying?

And more importantly what the hell are the real rules of this big fun red lie?


Monday, 17 December 2012

What would you say to the parents in Connecticut?

I don't know what you would say but I am at a point where I would have to scream simply "what the f*ck?!". There is no normal explanation for this. "Some people are mentally disturbed" no longer cuts it when 20 six and seven year olds are the chosen target. This is not just a tipping point for the USA, it is a question for the world, especially the virtual world. There is something that we are missing when we hear of teenagers doing these things. 


The only thing I can remember that is worse than what has happened in Connecticut, is what happened to poor James Bulger, a 2 year old in the UK, lured away from his Mum by two ten year olds to be t0rtured and murd3red slowly. Two ten years olds now in their 20s with hidden identities for their protection so they can live their lives in freedom. Huh!? What are we doing wrong? Are we too busy to notice we are raising psych0paths? Are we too lazy to keep them off video games that make murd3r seem like fun? What are we not teaching them about the value of life that they take it away from people so small and innocent and in no way capable of causing any form of pain to them, that would warrant these kind of vind!ctive and cowardly att@cks? And worst of all when we find out through some horrific situation that involves innocent people losing their happy existences, that these young people are actually psych0paths, why do we as a society find it necessary to protect them from normal people who feel that maybe it's not cool to have obvious s0ciopaths living freely in society? 

I am so mad, there is no way around it, I am furious. I am livid with his mother for teaching him to sh00t and having semi-@ut0matic weap0ns just hanging around, for knowing instinctively that he was not right and doing nothing about it. I am horrified that somehow a bunch of morons have lobbied to allow people to freely own these weap0ns. I am incensed that he and his mother* are gone so we can't make them live with the consequences of their choices or grab them and shake them until we find out why, Why, WHY?????
From top right (clockwise): Noah Pozner, Emilie Parker, Dylan Hockley, Grace McDonnell, Victoria Soto, 27, Mary Sherlach, 56, Lauren Russeau, 30, James Mattioli and Olivia Engel, Jesse Lewis and Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Every beautiful smiling face I've seen on TV that I know now is no longer, looks like any of our family photos. The innocent unbridled joy of life still mostly unchallenged. I don't know what to say to those left behind without their beautiful little cheeky monkeys. There is no sense, nor hope I can find in this. It is a horror beyond any movie and over 40 people are not acting as they try to face something not even the most w@rped movie makers could think up. I suppose the only comfort is so many are grieving with you, not as deeply of course, but we are here too, feeling it hard and hating a world where this can happen. Something has to change, please, something has to come from these beautiful young things cut down so unfairly and far too soon. 



RIP
Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F Hsu, age 6
Catherine Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski , age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Allison Wyatt, age 6

Rachel Davino, age 29
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

*One mother's account of living with a mentally ill son sheds new light on what this man may have been putting her through and raises great points about the potential root cause and its solution.