Monday, December 17, 2012

The Dread of Today

It took me a few days for the reality of all that has occurred to sink in.  Last night, after much thought, I made the bold decision to sit my kids down and tell them everything.  Not in an attempt to scare them but 1) to talk about the events and the outcomes with them before their friends relayed the news this morning (Monday morning) leaving my boys with unanswered questions, fears and confusion.  And 2) As a precaution.  
     Both boys gave me their undivided attention and when I finished talking I asked Spencer (my 3rd Grader), What would you do in a situation like that?  His response was, "I would run towards the gunman and try to stop him!".  This answer, as brave and honest as it was, terrified me.  He had no idea!!  Coen (our Kindergartener) sat silently and listened as we explained to the boys that you run as far away from danger as possible or you hide and keep quiet.  This seemed to satisfy Spencer, although he was still a little uneasy at the thought of going to school this morning, but Coen was very much at a different and difficult level of fear.  I sat with him a long time in bed and answered his innocent and fearful questions over and over again.  I began to regret my decision to divulge this "grown-up" information to an innocent 5 year old, but the reality is that my children are growing up in a world where Stranger Danger drills in the classroom have become the norm., where evil is lurking around every unsuspected corner and copycat crimes from the most deranged individuals are out in full force and, unfortunately, my kids are in a position (at least at school) where I cannot personally protect them so it is essential that they know of these dangers and how to respond to protect themselves.
     With that said, this morning SUCKED!  My boys awoke excited for school, leaving any traces of fear far behind them.  I, however, was not as brave-although I'm a great pretender (sometimes)!  My anxiety was kicking while I performed our normal get ready for school routine and assured the boys that they would be safe and told them about 5 million times that I Love them.  The anxiety worsened, however, as we passed the police officers parked on both sides of the street in front of the school and as we came to the front of the school the Principal, teachers and some sort of security guy in a big, black trenchcoat stood guarding the entrance of the school.  I can't say I was surprised as I have been receiving messages all weekend from the Principal, Superintendent of the district, my Kindergartner's teacher and the head of the PTO that these changes in security would be happening, but kissing my 3rd grader good-bye as I watched him walk into school (and dread having to do this yet again later this afternoon with my Kindergartner) brought me to tears-sobbing, uncontrollable, fearful tears right there in front of the school.  I hate that I must now fear for my Childrens lives in a place I once believed they were so safe and I hate how helpless I feel.  I want to think that someday this uneasy feeling will subside, but, realistically, this is the world we live in now and I angrily admit that fear is a part of it, but thankfully only a small part in the grand scheme of things.  Life will go on if we allow it...                

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