A few days a go I got a call from an unknown number, which I missed. It was the middle of the day. I kind of mildly panicked. Tried to call back. Checked every possible way that I could to make sure that it wasn’t my kids’ school. If I ever nap in the day or if I’m ever anywhere where it might be noisy I turn up my phone to its full hearing capacity.
It’s not paranoia it’s just being a parent. Once I called I called one of my kids’ schools friends mom during schools hours, she didn’t know me at that time. For the first 15 seconds of the conversation I could hear the fear and panic in her voice. I didn’t understand why she was so freaked out. Then when she calmed down and I explained to her who I was, and why I was calling, which was just to rsvp to a bday party invite, she calm down. She explain that because it was school hours she for second thought I was calling from school, and thought something was wrong with her child at school. Parents, right? Worried about everything, anything. For no reason. Did they eat their lunch? Do they have too much work at school? Are they under too much pressure? Sleep on time? Move up bed time. Not enough rest. Too many hours. Not enough hours. Homework. No homework. Is he coming home too tired? Is he coming home at all? Is this this the day he’s getting shot? Was this his school? Did he get shot? Is she dead? Was it her best friend? Was it him who was taken in an ambulance? In critical condition? Did I say goodbye properly this morning? It might be the last time. Never again is today.
When school shootings started in the US I did not have children. Then when I had children, and they started school I left the country. So I’m not really anyone to speak on what it must be like to send your kids to school not knowing. All I know is being a parent is hard enough without this added fear. What I can tell you is that parents every where can relate just a tiny little bit because we are parents, and we care. Every time I hear the words “school shooting” or read the words written across my screen my heart sinks because I know too many people across the country that have children who go school. Even if I didn’t know them, a child is a child a parent is a parent. No one should have to face this, ever.
In the end: Ignore everything else and focus on the children in your life that are alive. Love them, hold them tight. Then think of those who cannot do that anymore. Then demand change. We have watched from the sidelines for far too long. We cannot hope that it wont happen again. We cannot pray that next time it won’t be us. It will be someone. Someone like you, and me. Some innocent child who did not deserve it; Parents who didn’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it. You don’t deserve it. Next time around you and I may not have the chance to breathe a sigh of relief. Ask. Demand. Change.