Driving home Friday I was in tears listening to the first person account by a teacher at Sandy Hook. I was alone. It’s all Christmas carols if my kids are in the car.
I got home and had this feeling that I wanted to drive to my children’s school and pick them up. Then home school them till they are 22. Then I see them as really weird young adults and I tell myself to sit tight. This is an aberration. This is not normal. So, is unwittingly being part of the slowest moving, biggest ever Ponzi scheme in American history and I got those cooties.
Bad things do happen to good people. This morning the school was packed for a holiday show, gate open, sunny skies.
Just get to school a few minutes early so you are first at pick up, I said to myself. That way I would get a parking space, walk down the dog poo covered street to the school, because it’s kind of crappy neighborhood. Literally. Apparently lower income people in apartments want the world to share in their glory of dog poo. To be fair, the little falling down structures I call “crack houses”, but I’ve smelled only copious amounts of pot, so maybe they are just very ill. ( my rant on California pot laws I’ll save for another post)
Then I see I have a missed call from Vivien’s school. Gulp.
I listened to the message. Relieved it is not a robo call warning of great danger at the school. Vivien tripped and hit her cheek on a chair. Her teacher thought she was fine, but the lady in the office thought I should know and she does have a bruise.
I dialed the office back as I threw my big, ugly, love em comfy mom Dansko shoes back on. “I’m on my way.” It was 90 minutes before pick up. I half expected to see other nervous parents fearing that the violence in Connecticut was spreading. I parked and caught eyes with a mom I know. We didn’t say a word, but our eyes said it all, “Fuck! This is so horrible, I’m so sad, so freaked out, so upset, mums the word in front of the kids. What is the matter with the world? Why?”
I was buzzed in the office. Only two adults there at the time. Without a ramp up I said, “where is your security camera? How do you know who is buzzing in?”
“I don’t, everyone gets buzzed in. I don’t have a camera.” She said flatly like she had made this point herself before. Okay, I said to myself, I’ll stop complaining about the poo and bad drainage and get us a camera. Later I thought, does she have a buzzer to alert emergency personal? My son’s school sent out an email about their security precautions within hours of the news, but so far, nothing from my daughter’s school.
I saw Vivien and she did have a bruise, but really she was fine staying at school and I felt like I was ruining her chances of getting into Yale by picking her up early. I told the teacher we would work on the project they were focusing on at home. ( did a bit, but dang weekend homework is tough to get done)
“Vivien, is this because your laces are too long?” I knew the purple high tops were to blame. I needed something to blame.
These are going down!
“Maybe mommy, you see..” she then told me a story about tripping over the leg of the chair, which I’m pretty sure had NOTHING to do with her too long laces. I had called Mark on speaker as I drove to the school, who was about to take off on a plane to see his older daughter. “Just buy her new, shorter laces.” No way I thought. I’m so LUCKY, so BLESSED. IT’s the laces, the laces are at fault and they are going down! My 7 year old is okay and I’m buying her new shoes.
I can’t bring those beautiful children back, I can’t torture that crazy nerd who did this, I can’t stop America’s love affair with automatic guns. I can’t say , remember when we use to warehouse crazy people? Maybe not such a bad idea. Then have funding in place for the many mentally unstable people of the US and the families that are worn down dealing with them. But, I can get my daughter shoes that don’t make her trip. I can pretend I can keep her safe all the time, whether I’m there or not. I can enjoy her delight at wearing new shoes. New shoes with velcro.
When we were at the shopping mall Rex asked for a warm pretzel. I automatically said, no. It was almost dinner. But, wait, I’m so, so, so lucky. “Yes, of course” I corrected myself.
All weekend I’m up early to read the papers about the tragedy. Then I signed every gun control petition I can find online. The rest of the time I’m with my kids. Tree trimming at my moms, time with her cousin.
I think the Dianne Feinstein ban on assault weapons is a good one to lobby for. It passed once before. I know hunters, they know how to reload. Let’s make the crazy people have to reload.
On FB lots of back and forth about gun rights. The second amendment says “well-regulated militia”, people having automatic guns in their house, how is that a well-regulated militia? (good piece about this HERE) One friend said, “we need guns to protect ourself against tyrannical government.” But, I pointed out, our government has nuclear weapons, so should we all have nukes?”
These tiny conversations are not very satisfying.
I got more from the camaraderie of the wordless exchange. Human to human, soul to soul. Where only our eyes are needed to talk.