I can't. I just can't. I don't like writing about things like this. But I just can't stay silent on it. An article containing a picture of little school children wrapped in bullet proof blankets showed up on my Facebook news feed and my heart sank. Three of the children from my home and Principal Hubby are at school as I write. A world where mass shootings is becoming normalized is so sick. My own desensitization saddens me. The idea of school children covered in bullet proof blankets is jarring. At least there is something I am still sensitive to. Yesterday I heard an unusual amount of sirens in my neighborhood. I am in the habit of saying a quick prayer when I hear a siren. A prayer that whatever prompted the need for rescue is met with success. That it would go well for all involved. It was then that my phone rang. I could see it was the school. My heart jumped and my breath caught. Guess where one's mind goes? I should have been thinking, 'I wonder who forgot their lunch?' or 'Who got sick?' Rather, I am monetarily gripped with fear. Someone is hurt or worse. A new prayer: Let this not be that call. The call that the craziness of this world has come near. Too near. Thankfully the sirens and the call were unrelated.
When I was a classroom teacher, we conducted school wide practice drills. Intruder on campus. I have gone through the motions of locking down and room, barricading doors with furniture, closing curtains, turning off lights, quieting scared whimpers. The precious babies gathered on our meeting rug. The rug where I read them stories, taught them that kindness wins, and sang our ABCs. Someone would come by and shake our doors and windows. The children were to remain quiet.
'This isn't real,' I would whisper. This isn't real. We are safe. I would smile and pretend we were playing hide and seek. We are practicing for something we are very sure won't ever happen. You are safe. - What?
I don't have a single solution. We want to find away to prevent this. I am so glad that there are minds thinking about this. I can't. I am thankful for the people who are trying to stand in the way of this tragedy and are putting their energy into answering hard questions about gun laws, 2nd amendment rights, mental health, and terrorism. And for others who try to cover our babies in bulletproof blankets because they don't know what else... I just can't. I have no idea.
I know that I watch four of the loved ones from under my roof walk out the door daily and head to school and all I want is for them to come back at the end of the day.
All this said, I try not to worry. I teach my children about safety but tell them not to fear. I still let them walk out the door. If we live in fear we let our enemy rob us daily. Their currency is fear and if we take on the task of recreating that fear for them on a regular and on going basis, it's as though we have set up a passive income stream for them. I will not pad their pockets with my tears and worries. I will live and teach my littles to live.
I have no clue what the day holds. I know I am not promised a single second beyond the one I am currently in and neither are those around me. I try to love my people well knowing that life is like a vapor. I put my trust in God knowing full well He hasn't promised nothing bad will ever happen in my life, but He has promised to stay right with me through it all.
I know that there are so many problems. I still believe and teach that kindness wins.
My friend and amazing writer had her own close encounter with crazy recently. She reflects on it here. Beautifully and thoughtfully done.
I took two of my sons to see the movie Good Dinosaur. My oldest and I ended up in tears at one point. He whispered in my ear, 'It will be ok in the end, mom. They will be happy again. Good wins. I just know it.'
Agreed. Good wins.
Thanks for reading.
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