I haven’t felt the pain of losing a child, but I have seen the pain of losing a child. Written on the faces of my family, and friends…and now a nation…repeatedly. When I read the headline ‘school shooting’ I already know what I will see when I open any social media app. The left sucks. The right sucks. What about the children?
What about the children?
Is it wrong to ask that we are allowed a moment, to gather, as a United front, and mourn our children? Mourn for their parents and the pain they will have to endure? Not only the loss of their child, but the loss to mourn—knowing they’re “wrong” depending on which side of the argument they are on? Mourn for our loss as a nation to be United? Even for a moment?
When the planes hit the twin towers, we mourned. We weren’t mocked for sending thoughts and prayers to those whose families had lost loved ones. To those whose bravery is still held as a standard today. To those who lived near, and watched as their city imploded. We gathered, UNITED, and mourned. We didn’t shout from the rooftops…NO MORE PLANES. PLANES ARE A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION. We took a moment and mourned.
What about the children?
I work in a middle school. We have lock down drills…real lock down drills. Not the nuclear bomb, get under your desk ones. Or, in the event of an earthquake run to a door frame drill. But, real, where can I hide these students…don’t make a sound…text your parents, and tell them we’re having a drill, and you are safe…someone banging on doors trying to get you to open them before the drill is called off…why are you giggling, someone will hear you kind of drills. These are the CHILDREN. They know this is real. They don’t know if their school is next. And then, nothing…we don’t talk about it. We send them home.
These events have become so commonplace we are numb. They are numb. It has become wrong to say we’re sorry. Wrong to voice that, though we are miles apart, we feel the pain of the loss. Instead, we shout about which side is right or wrong. Children don’t see us teaching, or reaching, solutions.
They see us throwing tantrums.
They watch us name-calling.
They witness us fighting in the halls.
I don’t have a solution. I don’t have an answer. I wish I did. And I feel helpless, because I don’t have the answers all the faces of students ask for when they’re dropped off at school. Is today the day? But, I do know I want the children—my own, and the students I encounter to know—I mourn with them. I mourn with the parents of the children and students that are lost. I will take a moment. I will send thoughts, and prayers, because I can’t be there to hug those parents and the friends that have lost someone. I can’t prevent it from happening again, right now. I will say I’m sorry. I will beg we can Unite for just a day, or a minute, and join in the mourning with these families…whatever side they’re on…because we are all on the side of the children.