18 children 20 children who went to school this morning in Connecticut will not be coming home tonight. 18 20 innocent students who went to school to learn and to play with their friends will no longer get the chance to do so.
As a parent, what I have been reading about online and watching on TV is your worst nightmare. Amber and I have never specifically talked about it, but I bet that she feels the same way.
Every morning, one of us leaves early for work and the other one takes Kaitlyn to school. Every morning, it is pretty much the same routine. Get in the car, drive to the school, wait for a few minutes, open the door for Kaitlyn to get out, and then head off to work. Every day, we tell her pretty much the same things. “I love you.” “Have a great day.” “Be good.” “Be green.” “Listen to your teacher.” And every day, Kaitlyn gets picked up at the same time and goes home. It is all a mindless practice. I have the routine down to a science.
Maybe this blog about our adventures with a daughter who has Asperger’s is not the place for this; maybe it would be better for me to express myself about the tragedy on my other blog, but what I feel right now is directly connected to being a parent. I would have been outraged no matter what, but as a parent, I have hurt mixed in, too.
I don’t know what would possess someone to go to an elementary school, or any school for that matter, and brazenly kill
18 20 students. I know the act is pure evil, though, and it is something that a coward would do.
Most of what I feel right now is anger. Anger because I know full well that what happened in Connecticut could have happened here, and it could have happened where you are. I feel anger because my mind is numb just thinking about that fact. I am angry because I live in fear each and every day that the next time something like this makes the news, it very well could be here. I am angry because the fear I mentioned is present because I am helpless to protect Kaitlyn while she is at school.
The more coverage I see about what happened in Connecticut, the more I wonder if we should bring it up to Kaitlyn. If we do, how do we do it? She loves going to school, and the last thing Amber and I want is for her to be afraid of going. But it is also not fair, I think, to just avoid the topic, either. Amber and I have always been honest with Kaitlyn and tried to use every situation, no matter how big or small, as a learning experience. How do we use a school shooting as a learning experience? We don’t want Kaitlyn, with her very literal thinking, to think that her school is next.
I can honestly say that today’s school shooting news is unlikely to make us hug Kaitlyn any tighter. If we did, it is very likely that we would smother her. Not a day goes by that we do not tell her that we love her as much as possible, and not a day goes by that we don’t hug her as much as possible.
I want to protect Kaitlyn from evil for as long as I can, but how can I do that when evil could possibly show up at her school?
*This post was originally published before an accurate number of victims was available. I have edited it to give the accurate number of children killed in this tragedy.