I wasn't going to post anything today, but then I saw this "Bloggers Who Aren't Posting Because Of The Tragic Events" meme floating about. It bothered me, the apparent commercialism of that idea. I am sure that is not how it was meant--I think actually people were to link to a place to send money to help the victims. People want to help, in any way that they can, and I hope that they raise lots of money. But I have to be contrary. It's how I cope--that, or I watched Hawkeye Pierce too often in my formative years. In deciding to post, I found myself in a quandry about what to post about, so this is sort of random.
I'd like to say that I'm not bothered by the events of Friday, but I am. I'd like to say that I'm not sad, or angry, or scared, but I am. I will probably feel that way for some time, as many people will. This was a tragedy for the nation as well as for the families of the victims, and everyone will be grieving. This affected me on two levels, as a school professional and as a parent. Like Mary Sherlach, one of the victims, I am a school psychologist. I am a school psychologist because I want to help children and teens. I even call all of the students I am responsible for "MY" kids, because I feel that responsibility deeply. I want them all to succeed. Mrs. Sherlach went in the direction of the gunfire, to see if she could help, I am sure of that. It's what I like to think that I would have done, under the circumstances. She was trying to do what was needed to keep children safe, and that is heroic. All of the adults at that school did what they could do, what they were trained to do.
I am a mother who has tried extremely hard to not be overprotective. I even have fights with my husband, who is more overprotective than me, because Zane has to explore the world. He has to fall down, he has to cut his finger, he has to experience risks. But this event makes me want to just keep my son next to me from now on. I don't even want to drop him off at school. I want to just hold him close and never let him go. If I do that, hold my son close and never let him go, he will be stunted in many ways. He needs to experience things. We will take him to school, and we will drop him off, and we will go to work. I have to trust. I have to have faith that he will be safe at school.
We have not said a word to Zane about what has happened. How would I even explain what I don't even understand? As far as I can tell, he hasn't heard a word about any of it, and it would be nice if it stays that way. Enough innocence has been lost. Zane's concept of violence and death is limited to what he's seen on cartoons and the Lord of the Rings movies, and I am not sure if he would understand what he hears. However, if he does hear about it, and he asks, we will sit down and discuss it in a way that is age appropriate. Or as age appropriate as possible, since I am not sure even what vocabulary would be appropriate under these circumstances. A parent has to balance what is necessary and what is just gratuitous, and I am still not sure how we are going to deal with that.