I was in the air when the shooting happened. I saw it on the monitors in the airport when we landed. Hearing the details and seeing the parents and teachers on the news, cut me to my soul.
I realize that we cannot protect our children from everything, probably more than most. However, I instituted a "media blackout" in our house this weekend. First off, I have been wary of any footage of main stream media since 9/11 and I wanted to be the one to control the explanation to munchkin. This is not unusual for our house, I actually don't usually watch the news with him, we tend to read the newspaper and talk about the world and what is happening, by eliminating the graphic footage that tends to replay on TV. Secondly, I know that watching TV coverage won't help these families. There is very little I can do other than pray for them.
I really don't know what to say. I am at a loss for words. I cannot imagine the pain of the families, teachers and children.
I did discuss breifly with munchkin that something happened in a school far away and a lot of people were hurt. We talked about how important it is to listen to his teacher all the time. I anticipate that his school will have some "lockdown drills" soon and we will talk more about that then.
As a parent, one of the scariest things for me was simply sending him to school this year. Starting the year, I knew he would be out of my control, sight and direct influence for 7 hours a day. Daily I offer prayer that he is safe, happy and working hard. I pray that his teachers are caring and compassionate. It is all I can do. I know that this is opposite of many parents who can't wait for their kids to go to school, but honestly, I think that this stems from the fact I know firsthand that life can and does change in a random instant.
Friday was a defining moment in his childhood, and I am sure that he won't realize it until many years from now. I too had a pivotal moment in the late 80's when a similiar situation happened in Winnetka, Il, a suburb not too far from where I grew up. Until then, schools were not locked. Parents, babysitters and grandparents came and went, students didn't even need to check in and out with the office. That changed. I am not sure what will change for this generation of children, but I know that there will likely be reactive changes.
This evening, I have caught up on the current theories and evidence surrounding the shooting. I am still at a loss. All I can ask is that all of you take a moment to hold your family tight and offer a prayer, good thoughts or whatever you so choose for those whose lives who have been irreversibly changed.