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Sunday, January 6, 2013

too soon

the day before christmas vacation, i got the call that no parent ever wants.  hubby called me to tell me that the boy's school was on lockdown becos someone made a threat.  the incident lasted an hour, with the accused being arrested (he was nowhere near the school, fortunately) and incarcerated.

hubby sent me several texts about the situation but i didn't respond to them as i was getting lunch around for the kiddos and wrapping brownies for the boy's christmas party at school the next day.  i sobbed so hard on the phone hubby could barely understand me.  he assured me that the kids were safe and the police were at the school.  one of hubby's coworkers had a relative who worked at the school and texted what was going on, so hubby knew a bit of what was happening.  after the call, i wanted to go to school and get the boy.  i wanted to hold him and never let go.  i was grateful that the kiddos were home with me.  this happened at their pick up time, and had it been a few minutes earlier their school would have been on lockdown as well (all schools in the district go on lockdown if there is an incident).  i was angry with the alleged perp.  i felt helpless and frantic.  i called my folks to let them know of the situation becos i didn't want them to find out through the tv or radio.  i prayed.

it wasn't even a week since sandy hook.  stuff like that doesn't happen in my community.  but it did that day.

we didn't tell the boy initially about the sandy hook incident.  when he came home from school that day i was crying as i hugged him.  it scared him - he thought someone had died - but i told him that "there was an incident where some kids got hurt, but i was glad that he was home and safe with me."  that weekend, the only time we watched the news was when the kids were in bed, or by reading the news on our phones.  the following monday the school called;  the boy had a headache, could we pick him up?  hubby brought him home (as the kids were settled into their naps) and as the boy snuggled with me on the loveseat, he told me that his teacher told their class what had happened in sandy hook.  their class discussed lockdown protocols and his teacher assured that he would keep them safe.  i assured him that his teachers and the staff at his school would protect and take good care of him and his class.  i told him that he'd be safe at school becos they had safety protocols in place.  the day before the lockdown, the school had a lockdown drill.

during the lockdown the boy and his classmates were locked in the art room supply closet for an hour.  he said he sat so long his feet fell asleep, but he couldn't do anything about it becos they had to sit still and quiet.  he said some of the kids cried and he tried to be brave.  his art teacher gave the kids toilet paper rolls to play with while they waited for the all clear.  while i'm glad that the boy was safe in a large closet for the lockdown, my heart breaks that he had to go through this at all.  the next day was the last day of school before the holiday break.  his class was having a holiday party.  it was hard to let him go to school that day.  i wanted to keep him home where i knew he'd be safe.

i noticed in the days after the lockdown, he clung to his snoopy and would become frantic if he couldn't find it.  the boy has been waking a lot during the night.  like clockwork, he comes downstairs at 10 or 11, or comes to our room at 2 or 3, needing reassurance, complaining about a scary dream, wanting a light or quiet music to listen to.    he asked about the door locks.  i personally check them before i go to bed, but suggested that he take over that job at bedtime.  we talked about safety in the home.  all the doors in the home have locks and most rooms have a phone;  he knows 911.  the boy wanted us to get a security system (don't see that happening, it would cost more than the house is worth).

i'm sad that my child's innocence has been marred by the actions of a couple sick individuals.  i'm angry at the finger pointing - "gun control!" "mental health care reform!" that has occurred since sandy hook.  in the years since nickel mines and columbine, and months since aurora, everyone talks and bitches about gun reform and better mental health services, but no one wants to do anything about it.

we do our best to protect our children.  i don't want to put my children in a perfect life bubble becos life isn't perfect.  stuff happens.  i just wish i could preserve their innocence a little longer.  

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