Friday, January 6, 2017

My heart was on lockdown today. My heart.

The text had just popped up on my phone that Little Red's school would be letting out at lunch due to the weather (Sleet, icy roads and a run on milk and bread down here today!). I was smiling from ear-to-ear because I knew she would be thrilled to be spend the afternoon with her college kids -- and I would be delighted to have all my chicks home in my nest.

So when a second text popped up I barely glanced down -- but the barely was enough to see the word "lock down" and force me to grab my phone immediately! The information was very scant -- Cate's school was on lock down at the urging of the local police. Lock down.

I wasn't sure what to do. My instinct was to get as close to campus as possible. I felt a pit in my stomach.

Fortunately for us, the all clear was given within half an hour. The situation was secure and we could proceed to pick up our kiddos as planned for the early-snow-release. I could not get her in the car fast enough.

My precious girl had her own story to tell:

She and her friends were walking out of the Epiphany Chapel service elated to find snowy ice on the ground and falling from the sky. She said they were trying to get enough for a snowball when other students started yelling for them to get in their classrooms. She said, "We were like, it is JUST snow. It won't hurt us."

Right until she saw the faces of the teachers urging them inside, that's when she knew it was something other than the snow. Sweet girl described where they hid and how they did exactly what they had practiced in lock down drills before. She said someone on the loud speaker kept telling them this was NOT a drill. She told me who cried and how she wanted to comfort them but they weren't near her.

She told me how she and her little friend held on to each other in fear.

But when I asked her if she cried, she said, "Uh, no. Of course not."

Which was good because I did.

Today two people fought at work and one pulled out a gun and started shooting. According to our local news, he shot 14 times but only hit his target once. He had more weapons in a backpack.

And all of this happened across the street from my baby's school.

When I was little, we practiced tornado drills. We pressed our heads against the inner hall walls and held a textbook over us. We occasionally practiced fire drills where we had to evacuate the school as the principal timed us to see how quickly we could do it.

I never remember hearing "this is not a drill" for either instance.

But I grew up in  a world where people didn't carry guns in their backpacks and start shooting in restaurants known for their delicious cinnamon crunch bagels and coffee! I grew up with a mother who couldn't name a long list of schools where gunman had opened fire.

That is not the case today. Cate had practiced this drill. She and her classmates knew exactly what to do today. And please understand how grateful I am for that!

But really, when are we going to stop this madness and do something to prevent what happened today? There are too many Mamas who never got the all-clear text to go get their littles because of a mad man with a gun.

For the love of all the little girls huddled together holding each other in their hiding place at school, can we please do something to stop mad men from waving guns?


Carol - The Blessings Counter