“Sometimes things get so crazy and Jaime would run out of the house with an “I gotta go, dad!” without fully saying goodbye…I don’t always get to say I love you, Fred said of their mornings. “I don’t remember if I said that to Jaime yesterday morning.”
This is from a Dad who lost his daughter in the Parkland school shooting on February 14, 2018.
The picture above though? The 7,000 shoes represents 7,000 people who have been killed by guns since 2012- Sandy Hook. This resonates deep in my soul…the core of who I am; a mother and a teacher. I hate politics and rarely do I post about it because honestly, it makes me want to puke. I hate how everyone has an opinion and they vomit it all over social media. The world is fucked up. I think we can all agree on this. But when we send our kids to school, we expect them to come home. My kids are under 3, but how the hell can I feel okay sending them to school when there is a threat or an actual shooting every week? I still get nervous going to the movies. And this is all now! I can’t imagine a few years from now.
I posted about the 3 moms who I think about every single day. I posted about how much I love my babies. I posted about my marriage and what makes me a hot mess. But I also want to post about raising kids in this generation. I don’t know how to do it. I just don’t know how to sit my soon to be preschooler down and explain to her about school shootings and lockdowns. Some people may argue that it’s too early to talk about that but I will be teaching in the same school as my daughter and we conduct lockdowns on a regular basis. Don’t worry baby. This is just an active shooter drill. What in the actual F? I remember being in kindergarten standing in a hula hoop with bubbles, I remember fire drills, I remember being so excited about feeding the class bunny, I remember doing Hooked on Phonics. I don’t remember school shootings happening every week and I don’t remember doing lockdowns on a regular basis. Granted I wasn’t exposed to social media or the news as a toddler, but even our parents generation said we are in crisis right now. Some people may say social media is to blame, which I partly agree with, but it doesn’t take away the fact that these inhumane acts are happening ALL the time. I mean they are happening so much that this has become the new norm.
I am with my kids all the time unless they are at daycare. I can’t imagine them growing up and leaving me just to go to the mall or even a friends house. And then they will end up hating me because I will be so obsessed with them and worried and never want them to leave the house. Then they will rebel and want to leave all the time and break all the rules. I am totally jumping ahead but I never stop thinking about that… those dreaded days.
I remember after this really bad school shooting in Parkland just happened, I was streaming NBC Live on the TV and Jules looked up so excited to tell me that there were ambulances and firetrucks. She is obsessed with them since Daddy is a firefighter. Thank God she didn’t see the grieving parents and the students running to safety. I changed the channel quickly, but this is her world now. This is what the new reality has become and I don’t know how to teach them. I don’t know what to teach them. All of a sudden I don’t know how to trust the universe that my kids will be okay if I let them go. I know I know. They are still so little, but time is flying and society is getting worse. Kids are dying. Parents are grieving. Teachers are dying. I get a text message every single day that there is a school threat or a shooting.
There are a million blogs and opinions about this topic, but please God help this world. Us parents need to know that our kids are safe. I don’t want to live in fear every single day. And as a parents it’s not about you anymore, it’s about your kids. There needs to be some sort of hope.
Dear teachers and parents,
Dear Jaime’s dad and parents who have ever lost a child,
Please know you are not alone. Your children are with you all the time. Their spirits will be enough to get you by. I will not say I know how you feel–because I don’t. I won’t say you will get over it– because you won’t. Life will have to go on…the everyday routine. I won’t say your other children will be a comfort for you–because they won’t always be. But I will say evil will NOT win. God wins every time. And if you’re reading this and you don’t believe in God that’s okay too. Your children are safe and at peace. No parent should ever bury a child and I can’t begin to fathom the heartache and loss because I am crying as I even type these words. Things happen for reasons but I just don’t know why society has failed us and where it went wrong. It’s up to us as adults to teach our children how to be kind, how to accept others who may be different, to educate them on safety, to love without judgement.
Just breathe mama. Just breathe dad. We got this. You are not alone. Hug your babies and teach them.