My husband casually walked into my office this morning to tell me there was a terror threat on the Los Angeles Unified School District. He explained that they had closed every school in the district, which equated to roughly 900 campuses, and over 700,000 students.
Shortly after, my daughter came walking into my office to tell me her tennis shoes no longer fit.
“MOM! My shoes! I need new school shoes, my feet grew!”
Just like that. A jaw dropping flutter of words, mixed with a blurb of regular, innocuous life.
“My shoes don’t fit.”
I sat there and stared at my daughter while a million thoughts bounced through my brain like ping pong balls with deafening echoes.
Los Angeles is roughly 100 miles north of where we live in San Diego. San Bernardino is not much different.
I sat in a surreal moment as I watched my daughter put her shoes on, knowing she was just moments away from stepping out the door to attend her regular Tuesday at school.
My husband hollered for her to brush her teeth so they could get out the door on time.
Everything seemed so normal.
I remained seated trying to process what I was feeling- but, I don’t know what I’m feeling anymore. My responses to these endless news stories have now become jaded, and I feel guilty for A.) feeling that way, and B.) being able to not only admit that, but also type that out.
However, this is something that isn’t stopping.
Bomb threats, school-shooting threats, and then the times when they aren’t threats. There are too many of those to list. I’d be nervous to even write them down; mainly, out of fear that I might accidentally leave one off the list- because really, there are that many.
I’ve flown out the door more times than I can count to pick my daughter up from school after hearing something horrifying on the news, but now? If I stopped and kept her home every time I heard something horrifying on the news, she’d likely miss half the school year.
I cant decide what’s scarier- the fact that this is something that we’re accustomed to hearing, nearly, each day, or that nothing is changing. Realistically, things are getting worse.
But what do I do? What am I supposed to do? What are any of us supposed to do?
I hear people talking, people fighting, political agendas being shaped around these very issues, but I don’t see much change happening. I see a lot of banter back and forth. I don’t have much desire to participate in political discussions that place me immediately in the red or blue, or “pro guns” or “pro gun control,” or the million other heated debates that take place daily.
I am “pro keeping my child safe.”
I care about my family. I care about my child. I care about your family, and your children. I care about all of our safety. I care about our country.
It’s almost impossible to bring up the subject of school shootings or school shooting/bomb threats without coming across as though you’re casting your opinion regarding the NRA, or the Syrian refugee crisis, or that you stand in the blue or the red. I’ve read more articles than I can count, and someone always seems to be yelling, yelling about what they think is right, or wrong:
“It’s our second amendment right to bare arms!”
“Guns are killing our children!”
“We’re letting terrorists into our country!”
“That’s racial profiling!”
And you know what? As much as I wish I did, I don’t have an answer.
I’m beginning to think the only thing we can do is pray, and continue to see the good that still shines bright in our world.
My friend said to me this morning as we were discussing this very topic: “Every night as I’m nursing my son to sleep, that’s what I’m doing. Praying. Praying for my family and friends, and praying for love/humanity to win, Ashley.”
She made me stop and think. I cannot control the world around me, I cannot make my fear of this world completely disappear, however, I can overshadow that with the good that still reigns. And, there is still so much good.
So, rather than sitting here today terrified that something might happen in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter, I am going to pray for us, for all of us- for “humanity to win,” as my good friend so beautifully put it.
I might have my head in the clouds a bit, but there is no control that I can take over this situation, there is nothing that I, alone, can do to make these heart wrenching occurrences stop.
Sure, I could get out there and lobby and protest, but people have been doing that since Sandy Hook, and here we are three years later…
There is no political campaign sticker I can slap on the back of my car that will make me feel as though I’m that much closer to helping end this- so, I will pray.
I will pray for the people deeply effected by the tragedies happening in our nation, as well as throughout the world. I will pray that the people who harbor some control over these issues can see eye to eye, for the sake of none other than that of our children, our families, for our nation and friends around the world.
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