But let me make one thing clear, because I keep hearing it over and over and over again -- from the President on down to acquaintances on Facebook.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A PARENT TO FEEL OR UNDERSTAND THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PAIN.
People without children aren't heartless creatures who love less than the rest of you. We understand loss. We understand the need to protect innocent children. We worry about our nieces, nephews, friends' children. Heck, even kids we've never met.
It's bad enough that unmarried, childless women are entirely excluded from an ongoing political conversation that obsesses over "working moms" and "working families," as if single professionals don't take a beating without a dependent or two to write off (or a mortgage if we can't afford a home because we're living off of only one income). But to be excluded from the communal grief seems to sting even more.
I'm sure this bothers me more than most as I come to terms with the fact that I probably won't be joining the ranks of the "working moms" like I'd thought now that I'm 40 and without a romantic prospect (or frankly a desire to find one) in sight. But I can't be the only one who's grown tired of feeling invisible and unimportant, can I?
Now that I got that off my chest, I can return to the ranks of Americans feeling absolutely exhausted by the sadness and senselessness of today -- and all the other days of gun violence before it. At times like this, I wish an inactive uterus did alleviate the pain that one feels over the murder of children. But, I assure you, it doesn't.