This morning, I was at Physical Therapy and saw a pop-up on the TV saying there had been a school shooting. It was early into the story, so the cable channel just switched back to whatever they were talking about before. I thought, "Jeeze, not another school shooting," and went on about my day. It's so truly sad that it's gotten to the point that when you hear about a school shooting, you just go "not another," and just keep going about your life.
I've read so many posts today, so many thoughts, that I may be plagiarizing some of my thoughts, but I must get it out.
My children are 7. They would have attended that school if we lived there. The thought of parents going to the firehouse and not seeing their kids and not getting answers if their babies were okay, had to be agonizing. I already know that if I had been a parent, I'd be in jail because I'd be forcing my way in the school to find my babies.
The majority of the children killed were in kindergarten. Five and six year olds. Little babies with their whole lives ahead of them. Little babies who were eagerly awaiting Santa to visit. Little babies who had made their Christmas lists. Little babies excited that Winter Break was about to start.
Now there will be no Santa, no dreams of being a ballerina or fireman. My son lost his tooth today, there will be no Tooth Fairy to visit them.
Think about your typical morning. These were families that got up the same as every other morning. Probably looked for their Elf on a Shelf. Jumped around the house shouting, making a mess, arguing over what terrible thing their parents were packing for lunch. Trying to decide what color shirt to wear.
There were probably irritated parents this morning. Saying "c'mon, let's get moving!" while ushering them out the door. Listening to the petty daily squabbles between kids. Trying to get teeth brushed, their homework in their book bags, planning what they were going to do for the weekend, Maybe some parents had already left for work before the children woke up, didn't get to kiss them goodbye.
And in an instant, a moment, all of that is taken away.
I cannot imagine the pain the families are going through. Cannot imagine the guilt (maybe their last words to their child were in anger). Cannot imagine waiting for hours to learn about their child, and then having to take that long walk to the school to identify their babies.
I think the saddest part for me is that these little babies did not know the shooter. They weren't making fun of him or bullying him, they were living their cute, fun little lives. And some stranger came in and tore their world apart. Did not really know what was happening. How terrifying their last few moments on this earth were. These babies were completely and totally innocent.
And the surviving children?
What they saw today is something no child should ever see. What they heard, no child should ever hear. What they are feeling now upon learning their best friends are dead, they should never have to know that.
Tonight, I held my babies longer, gave them extra kisses, told them once again how much I love them. We put Iain's tooth under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy. Thinking that this could have easily have been my babies suddenly gone.
As far as the shooter, that's a whole new post.