Tuesday, February 18, 2014

under a rock

I shelter my children under a rock. But that rock is getting too small. They barely fit under it. Sometimes life splashes on them. Sometimes life rains on them.

It could be that the rock is the same size, but my children are bigger. But they're not that big!

I am happy to have been raised naive. I had plenty of time to learn about The Real World as I became an adult.  I want the same sheltered life for my own kids.

I received a text from Pook today, just as school was getting out:

Maybe I over-reacted.

First of all, I saw 'lockdown' and 'gun' and totally missed that it was the high school, not his school. Second, I heard quite soon that it was a suspended student with a 'cache' of guns who had hidden them under the bleachers with intent to sell them. (He had two loaded guns on his person.) Third, by the time I heard about it, the kid was already in custody.

Over-reacted. Under-reacted. Reacted.  I don't want that to be the issue. How I act when there is a gun near my child's school is not the point. The point is that I have to react at all.

At dinner I asked Pook how he felt about it. He barely understood why I'd ask. "It was just a lockdown. Nothing happened."

I grew up knowing fire drills and tornado drills. We did not have lockdown drills.

I hear about a school shooting and I turn away. I don't turn on news on those days. I don't want to know anything more than "It wasn't here." I know the issue, I have strong anti-gun feelings, and knowing the sordid details just upsets me.

We never watch TV news anyway, so that isn't a concern. But sometimes I listen to news on public radio while I cook.  We almost always listen in the morning. There are times that either CD or I have shut off the radio when something dreadful has happened and we don't want to get into a discussion with the kids about it.  I had no intention of telling them about the Newtown, CT incident until our church said that they would "help children process recent events" and I decided it was better that they not find out in a group setting.

His principal wrote, after a different gun event in Atlanta, "the real things that matter are you and your family. Are they safe? Are they happy? Are they healthy? If you can answer "yes" to those three questions, then all is right with your world, and all the other problems of life will work themselves out. Slow down. Count your blessings. Be thankful. Be in the moment and breathe. Make it a great day or not. The choice is always yours."

Yes, I get it. But I don't want to have to get it. I don't want to have to count my blessings when not every parent can easily do so. I want for it to just. not. happen.

Another blogger I follow said, ages ago, after yet another tragedy, "I wish I could send my kids to school wearing a button that says, 'No, I don't know. Please don't tell me.' Maybe it's pure wishful thinking that I can keep them naive even a few days longer. A single day. An hour."


1 comment:

  1. You are such a good mother, and good writer. Made me tear up........and I hope it helped you.