My little sweetpea told me very excitedly today:
“MOM! Guess what! Tomorrow we’re going to have a Lockdown Drill at school!”
Her innocent little heart knows that a lockdown drill is “in case of intruders” in her school, but fortunately, she has no idea of the type of devastating horror that said intruders are capable of inflicting upon her or her classmates. She doesn’t know that there are people in the world that choose to harm others as a way to deal with their own internal pain. In her world, bad guys only exist in movies— they don’t walk among us disguised as ordinary people. Police officers are her friends— she doesn’t know yet that they are her protectors. Mommy makes her hold hands when we are out in public because “she just likes to hold hands”— not because keeping a physical hold on her is the only way I can guarantee her safety.
I don’t keep my kids in a bubble. They’ve seen guns fired in a movie. They know about stranger danger. They’ve heard curse words. (Sorry, Mom.) They know that they can’t drink out of my “juice glass” (wine… again: sorry, Mom.) But one thing we don’t do is watch the news in front of them. It’s too much negativity and devastation. I’d like to keep at least some of their innocence intact for as long as I can.
My daughter Jailyn is in third grade and my other daughter Jordyn is in first grade. When I was their age, the only drills we learned were in case of tornados and fire; natural disasters and accidents. Tomorrow they will learn what to do in the event of an evil, man-made circumstance that could statistically be more quickly devastating than fire and tornados combined. Their sweet teachers will go through this lesson with gentle firmness so that they grasp the importance of the lesson but don’t see the worry in their teachers’ eyes or hear the fear in their voices. Their teachers will tell each child that they love them; I am confident in this because I’ve heard them say it multiple times before. Their teachers will protect them to the fullest extent of their capability; I pray it never comes to that.
I know my kids. They are curious creatures, always asking questions. Whether it be tomorrow, or after drills in future, they will ask questions… and I will have to tell them that there are bad people in the world who don’t care if they get hurt, who will actively seek out ways to inflict pain, who could potentially take them away from me. And I will promise them that I’ll do everything in my power to protect them from it. But I can’t make any 100% guarantees because nothing is a guarantee… and that there are other parents who felt exactly the same way yet their kids didn’t come home from school yesterday.
We are failing as a society. This evil darkness continues to creep in and we still haven’t found a way to effectively stop it. We still haven’t found a way to value human life consistently as a population. We have to figure this out.
Seventeen people dead yesterday.
Eighteen shootings on a school property so far just in the year 2018.
Columbine still feels like a fresh wound from yesterday… think of all that has happened since then.
We have to do better.
Our kids are depending on it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
People like Amanda are a rare breed. Amanda is a real life NWA Mama. Born and raised, Amanda is a native of Rogers and the mom of three “J-Babies.” When she’s not sharing her thoughts with the NWAMB, Amanda runs on Coca-Cola and is a firm believer that with the right pair of heels and a glue gun, she can accomplish anything.
We here at the NWAMB are still numb over the events that occurred in Parkland, Florida. We want to help, but yet what can we do from our little corner of Arkansas? Plenty. We’ve provided some resources below if you’re trying to figure out how to help, too.
Raise Your Voice: Let your voice be heard this weekend at This Momma’s March.
Donate Blood. Right now, there’s a desperate need for type O blood. For more information visit https://www.oneblood.org/