Next week is his first day of school ever ... and all I can think is will he be safe?
He has no idea that there are tears burning my eyes right now, aching to be released. But I’m holding strong.
Today, panic is holding me so tight I can barely breathe.
I was just informed that there was a shooting in an elementary school in South Carolina. Two children and a teacher were injured. CHILDREN. Little kids. Babies.
I’m not going to politicize this and scream that we need gun control.
I’m not going to make this terrible tragedy about me.
But be sure this IS a tragedy.
Not only were two children injured physically, countless others who witnessed the horror and will be forever traumatized.
What I WILL do is try to understand how I’m supposed to be OK sending my kid out of his bubble to a school.
A school is considered a safe place, right? It was when I went to school. The biggest scandal to hit my elementary school was when they stopped giving out chocolate milk at lunch.
Now, we have to worry about some random person coming in to our children’s safe place intent on hurting or killing them.
After the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, I was glued to CNN, watching the news as the death count climbed, one innocent life at a time.
We knew better: It wouldn't be easy for us. But we loved our son and would do everything in our power to keep him from the real world for as long as possible.
At that point, he was so little and far from being school age, we didn’t really have to consider it a reality, anyway.
When we realized he needed more than we could give him, education wise, we knew we had to register him for traditional school.
So here I am, on the cusp of beginning the journey with my son and every anxiety and every worry I experienced almost four years ago has come back and hit me like a wave, drowning me in the fears that I once thought I’d be free from.
There’s nothing I can do to prevent this from happening. I know.
I also know that walking into a store is just as dangerous, or that we could be hit by a car crossing the street.
But that doesn’t help this mother worry any less.
I can only hope that my son, and all the OTHER sons and daughters of the world, continue to live a life of peace.
I can only hope that ANOTHER school doesn’t become a hashtag on Twitter.
I can only hope that the NEW generation knows better.
I have no answers. I have no solutions.
All I have is hope.