As most parents this morning, I am nervous about sending my kids to school. The shootings at Sandy Creek have put terror in our hearts. Especially because its was an inexplicable act; not a random, rage-filled, misdirected assault, but seemingly a thought out, targeted plan formed by a man that was sick and armed. I keep asking "What kind of a person does this? Slaughters sweet children in one of the places they are supposed to feel safe?" but I don't have an answer.
Now the talks of better gun control and better mental health care begin. And while I agree these discussions need to be had, I think that we also need time to mourn the loss of life and the loss of innocence, not just in Newtown, but all over our country as our own kids ask questions that they should not have to ask at such a young age. The discussions will take time. We must wait on those arguments to be had, for our health care system to be redefined and for the people that have the power to make changes to decide what comes next.
I feel like I can't just sit and wait. I try so hard not to let my actions be controlled by fear. But I'm fearful. I am afraid every time a member of my family leaves my house. I fear going to the movies and the mall. I'm afraid of child care facilities and daycares and now schools. I am afraid to let my kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood without supervision. I am afraid to them have sleepovers in other peoples houses. Fear. It's irrational at times, overwhelming, and exhausting, but it just seems like our reality these days. I have faith, I go to church, I pray and read my Bible. I am beginning to know my neighbors and my kids' teachers and their friends. I do the things that I am supposed to do and I try to pay attention. I talk about strangers and drugs and bullying and how to handle those situations. How am I supposed to talk to my 2nd, 6th and 8th graders about random shooters? And what do I tell them to do? I've seen the advice articles and everything just like everyone else, I know what I'm supposed to say, but the words are getting stuck in my mouth. I do not want to have this discussion and I don't want my kids walking around suspicious and fearful!
What I really want is to be able to go back to the time when kids could run free all day and parents didn't worry. I want the days where neighbors would call my parents if I was causing trouble and dime me out. I want the days where it was expected that unruly children were corrected and disciplined when they needed it. And when discipline didn't mean child abuse. I want community and fellowship. I want my kids teachers to be IN my business! I want to know who they are and what they are teaching my children. I want them to know me! Where has this gone? That is a redundant question of course, because we all know. I am glued to my computer and iPhone just like most. I fill my spare moments with screens - FB, Pintrest, TV, email - the list goes on. I am starting to move away from that though, because I am realizing that I am craving social interaction and I believe that people around me are too. That's why the lady in front of me at Safeway will talk the cashiers ear off! We want friends and community, right? I propose that we all move in this direction! Let's start having more BBQ's and potlucks and movie nights! Let's be involved in our communities and get to know the people around us! I firmly believe that I need all the people around me, and I mean you guys, too, to help me guide my family. I realize I am sounding like I'm trying to start a pep rally, but I genuinely want to know what other people feel and if they are thinking along the same lines as me.
With that, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years! I pray that all of you have nothing but joy and peace!