A mother, when a child turns 5, carefully prepares that child for kindergarten – with a fresh backpack, sharpened pencils and a gentle explanation that school is a place where they will learn, make friends and be taken care of by their teacher.
The child, on the first day, either excitedly or nervously or laden with tears – or maybe a mixture of all three, climbs onto the school bus, gripping a lunch box and proudly wearing the new schoolbag, gives a wave goodbye to mom and is off. It’s an image of innocence, one that tugs at the heartstrings, speaks of new beginnings and touches on that delicate combination of mourning and pride within a mother as they watch their child reach yet another milestone of independence.
My child is not yet even at this stage, and the events of today made me want to whisk her away to the mountains of Haiti, and raise her in a country where it would be a rarity, rather than a regularity, for violence such as we saw today unfold in a school.
I think of the many, many mothers who have lost children to gun violence in schools. I cannot, cannot, cannot even begin to imagine the pain, the anger, and the devastation. I would be infuriated that the whole. entire. nation. is not rising up to make sure this does not happen to one more child, to one more mother, to one more family, to one more school.
It boggles my mind that speaking of a solution to this, in a time such as this, is seen as a political stance. The fact is – it’s common sense. If children are being killed – gunned down in schools, with regularity, we should stop everything we are doing in this country and figure out how to fix it.
If not, we are failing as parents, we are failing as Americans, and we are failing as humans.
Goodnight, and – more than ever this evening – hugs to all. xoxo