Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

How Easily It Could Have Been Mine

In almost eleven years of parenting I have plenty of moments I do not care to live over. Plenty of moments that were too hard, scary or heartbreaking. Moments where I have watched my two week old have his heart shocked, moments when I have dealt with disabilities in my oldest, and the moment when I learned the baby inside me no longer had a heartbeat. Those moments pale in comparison to the fear and emotion I felt this afternoon.

It was shaping up to be a good afternoon. I picked the first two up, made a trip to the pharmacy, ran home and picked up some snacks. It was 64 degrees in January and we planned to pick up Isaac and head to the park. I pulled into car rider line and began to respond to some emails on my phone while we waited. I guess I got lost in work and reading because when I looked at the clock it was fifteen minutes after school got out and nobody had come out. Then it happened, I saw the first police car. I got out of my car with some other parents and asked if everything was ok. “I just have to check something” he said as he rushed by. Then the next officer arrived and went off in the same direction, carrying his rifle.

I was standing next to my car and told myself to lean against it. I felt the tears begin to burn in my eyes. The mother behind me began to cry out loud. It was at that moment I remembered I had two other children in the car. I had to hold it together. I texted Scott and my sister knowing I couldn’t really talk. It must not have taken long for the news to find out because soon there were helicopters over head. Every news coverage I had ever watched was playing in my head. I don’t really know how much time passed while we waited, not knowing. I prayed. I waited. I prayed more.

Finally, the bus drivers came out. Word began to spread. A suspicious man was seen in the woods behind the playground. Possible gunfire. Everyone was ok. It took forever to get everyone out of the school. It was 5:05 when we pulled out of the parking lot (school gets out at 3:20).

My baby is home safe and asleep in his bed tonight. His school was prepared and handled things as well as they could. As far as I can tell he was not scared (he did need to run and play after laying still on the floor for over an hour). It appears there was very little real danger (I’m ok with them being over prepared). Possibly just teenagers just playing with fireworks. Like I said my baby is asleep in his bed tonight. However, as I sit here tonight I think again about the moms whose babies didn’t come home that Friday in December or any other day of the year my
heart breaks all over again and I am painfully aware of how easily it could have been mine.

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