Warning: This post isn’t funny. It’s the kind of real that makes you want to hug your babies. I wrote this post several weeks ago, after a conversation with Punkin, but didn’t publish it because frankly, it was too upsetting. In light of everything that’s happening, I just can’t be humorous today.
Conversation at bedtime several weeks ago:
Punkin: You know what’s really fun at school?
Punkin: Internal threats.
Me: (thinking this is some sort of secret agent name for a math exercise) What are those?
Punkin: It’s where you practice hiding in the classroom, away from windows, and locking the doors, in case someone dangerous gets in the building.
And then my heart sank. Because I thought of all the shootings I’ve heard of in the past few years. Because I thought of every parent who kissed their baby goodbye that morning, not realizing it would be their last. Because when I went to school, we practiced fire drills, not emergency procedures for bomb threats and shooting rampages.
And it made me want to keep her with me forever. It made me wish I could shelter her from all the evil in the world. It made me wish she didn’t have to know about things like internal threats.
Every day that she gets on the bus, there’s a little twinge of, “What if something happens?”
And then that unspeakable event occurred Friday. And Punkin came home and wondered why there was a police man patrolling outside her school. And I had to tell Punkin that her friends might be talking about a person that went into a school with a gun and hurt some of the students and teachers.
I didn’t personally know any of the victims, but I cried that morning. I cried for all the parents, children, teachers, friends, families, emergency responders, and those affected by the unspeakable horror that took place that day.
And I wrestled with my own fears about putting her on the bus. About sending her into the world. About ever letting her out of my sight again.
But I’ve taught her that we don’t have to be afraid. That we don’t make our choices based on fear. That Psalm 91 punches fear in the face, and we’ve read it over and over.
So every morning, I pray for her. I pray for her teachers, for the school staff, for the bus drivers. I pray, and I trust. Because that’s all I can do.