I happened to be at my son's school when I heard about the shooting in Connecticut this morning.
It took every ounce of self control to NOT go run to him as he played tag with his friends on the playground, scoop him up and take him home. *Please note that I LOVE our school and have never once felt like my son has been unsafe*
I did, however, scoop up Benjamin and kiss him a ton and squeeze him tightly. But, that's not that out of the ordinary.
As I hear more and more details about what happened, I just want to throw up. A 20 year old going and shooting up his mother's kindergarten class?!? No words. Absolutely nothing.
I happened to have the radio on while I was driving, and I purposely changed it to Air 1, which is a Christian radio station (much better than The Fish, in my opinion. Normally I listen to NPR while driving, but they were going into a TON of detail, and I didn't want Aaron to overhear). Of course, they were talking about the shooting, and discussing it vaguely but from the back of the van I hear my sweet little Aaron say, "Mommy, I don't want to die!"
I've been watching Facebook blow up with people processing this tragedy in their own ways. It's been interesting to watch the people who believe that we need better gun control (Most shootings happen by people who obtain weapons illegally so it wouldn't do much), need better security in schools (that costs money, and right now our public schools are so strapped for cash that there are 30+ kids in a class plus teachers are buying supplies from their own pockets), and people who have the initial response of wanting to home school their kiddos.
I've been thinking a lot about the last part.
Every last mommy instinct in me makes me want to wrap my children in bubble wrap, enclose them in a box with holes poked in it, and protect them from any sort of bad thing that could happen.
We refused to buy a house with a pool because I'm terrified of drowning.
We have our kids in the safest car seats possible, with the 19 month old still sitting backwards because studies show it's the safest.
Grapes are cut in half, food is not allowed in the car (for the littlest ones), hands are held while crossing the street, helmets are worn, etc.
But, the truth is, I simply cannot protect my child from every single "what if" scenario.
I wish I could, but I can't. I can bet you that every single one of those parents who lost their child today is wishing that they had called their kid in sick, that they had home schooled, that they had been there to protect their child. But, I can also bet you that this morning when they dropped off their children that this was the furthest thing from their minds.
We do what we can, but in the end the goal of parenting (at least, my goal in parenting, and I've said this all along) is to produce well rounded, functioning adults. I can't do that by protecting my child from every little "what if" out there. To do so would make my child grow into a paranoid adult who doesn't trust a soul, has no social skills, and is fearful of everything.
And we know fearful. Nathaniel still has a hard time talking to someone he has known his whole life. We are working on that.
So, when I pick Nathaniel up from school in a few minutes I will give him a hug and ask him how his day was (knowing full well that his teacher probably didn't mention anything, unless they prayed for the situation, but even then it will have been age appropriate). I also know that on Monday morning we will once again walk to school and I will drop him off as I usually do.
Because I have to trust that God has a plan for our lives. Even if that plan is not the plan I have in my head (knowing full well that it probably isn't).
And when my kiddos ask me about this tragic event (because I'm sure they will hear something, Aaron did), I will talk to them about how sometimes people decide to do horrible things, but that it is highly unlikely that anything like that will ever happen to them.
Why worry them?