Monday, December 17, 2012

Averting my eyes

I go back and forth between being devastated about the shootings in CT on Friday, wanting to know more and needing to step back and walk away from it. My daughter is nearly 5. Next year she'll be in Kindergarten. Years ago, I had a "thing" against public schools - saying that I'd never put my child in a public school and assuming that God would somehow allow me the option of that in my future. Since we've had children and begun looking into private education, I've realized that private school is AMAZINGLY expensive and putting even ONE child (let alone 2 or even a possible third) through school is going to be a problem. I'm not saying that something like this couldn't happen at a private school. I think about the (lack of) security at my daughter's school (the school I grew up at and am incredibly familiar with) and I cringe.

Every time I see the list of the victims of this tragedy, I see the first name of my daughter on the list. There was a little girl with her name who was 6 years old. I can't even begin to fathom the hole in her mother's heart.
When I read about the school principal who died lunging for the gunman, I think of my childhood best friend's mother who is a principal at one of our local elementary schools, and I tear up, thinking about the sacrifice made for the children she loved.
I think about my dozens of friends and family who work at schools all across the nation when I think about how those teachers tried to save their students from harm and in the process lost their lives.

I'm heartbroken at the thought. And I keep having to step away. To turn off the news, walk away from Facebook, the computer and avert my eyes. I know that those who are directly effected by this tragedy don't have that luxury. And I am so sorry.

I think about how we could make our schools safer. Because even if something like this never comes to MY child's school, I want every school in the world to be a safe place for children. But turning their schools into fortresses with bullet proof glass and armed guards doesn't seem either practical or logical.

And then I know I have to stop. I have to step back again. I have to push it away. It's too depressing and I'm already dealing with a bunch of crap in my own life right now. I can't take on anyone else's pain. And as much as I'd like to relieve the grief of even one of those mother's CT for even a moment, I know that it doesn't work that way.

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