I know I’m usually trying to sell my kids on Craigslist with ads like “2 annoying but cute kids free to a good home,” and telling you how fucking annoying they are. And how much I just need a good shot of tequila and how school breaks kill me… but truth is, I fucking love those little kids more than life. So when I heard about this drill at school, my heart nearly stopped. My two kids, ages 5 and 7, came home from school and told me, “Mommy we did a Code C drill today.” Code C? I thought. What is that? Then my 5 year old went on to explain that his teacher and a bunch of classmates hide in the bathroom. A gaggle of 5 year olds huddled in the bathroom with their heads down, probably terrified, makes me sick to my stomach. My boy can’t sit still long enough for me to clip his nails without throwing his head back and crying like I was murdering him. Then my 7-year-old chimes in and informed me that “Code C” means there is a shooter inside the building.
It’s like playing a game of hide and seek with the hopes that they won’t be found. It’s not a fun game.
My sweet babies, I just want to hold them tight and tell them not to worry that this won’t happen in their school. But is that real? Can I even say that? How can I guarantee that they are safe from evil in this world?
Let’s be clear, I am not mad that they have these practice drills. I am mad that these drills can potentially be real and these school shootings have become commonplace. I am mad that these are the times we are living in, and I am mad that these drills have become part of the routine.
The words “Sandy Hook” will shake any parent to the core. After this horrific tragedy, I thought to myself –This is it, right? We would have to have some meaningful form of gun control, right? Some deranged kid walked into an elementary school and murdered 6 and 7 year old children. Babies, taken from their parents. So abruptly, without warning. Completely senseless. This has to be the end of the line, right? Well, nope. No it’s not.
Unfortunately, in this country the decisions are made by a bunch of old fuddie duddies. A majority of these fools voted for universal background checks for gun owners, but fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. And yes folks, yet again the NRA won. I’m not saying I am for or against the Second Amendment, I myself know that I am too much of a ding bat to carry a gun and I would eventually shoot my own eye out. But I think we can all agree there needs to be some serious change. The challenge with the gun conversation, is that it’s a fear-based conversation.
While we fight the good fight, I am thankful for the younger generations stepping up, hopefully voting and demanding change. We all know that politics have to evolve no matter what side of the aisle you are on. And until the old people at the top stop making the decisions, I think we have a long way to go.
So, in the meantime. let’s look at our children and our environment. Yes, the environment that we all live in. Whether it be an urban setting or, dare I say it, a suburban area. Let’s look at our home lives and the way we as adults treat other adults. We are all products of our upbringing, whether we like it or not. Are we as adults talking, gossiping or even making fun of our peers? Are our children hearing this? Are they going to school and repeating what we say?
Many of the horrifying incidents involve a someone who feels that they have been misunderstood, mistreated, and/or alone. According to a Newsweek poll, bullied high school kids are twice as likely to bring a gun or knife to school than their non-bullied peers. I know that being a kid in this day and age is tough. The instant gratification that a bully gets from hurting others in a world of overbearing technology.
Let’s teach our kids kindness in this polarized world we are living in. There are three things I tell my kids every day. You are kind, you are important, and you are loved.
There is hope that the world will change for the better so that eventually we will not have to practice hiding from those who would harm us. In the meantime, let’s find a way to keep as many innocent children as possible safe in body and spirit.