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Thursday, December 6, 2012

The world we live in

I was at my girls' school yesterday for a Child Study Team meeting for the short one.

Midway through the meeting, an announcement came over the PA System.  "Attention, Faculty and Staff - Please prepare for emergency lockdown."

My face dropped & I looked at the others in the meeting simply stating, "This is a drill, right?"

They all got up and I followed.  One shut the lights and pulled the shades.  We all followed to a hidden corner of the room where we huddled together in silence.

Holy heck!

Many things flashed through my mind while this was going on.
First I though, holy crap - is this real?
Can I get to my kids?  They're in the same building.  Can I go grab them?
Then I thought about the air raid drills that my parents spoke of when they where younger.
Finally I began to wonder, what do my kids think about all of this?

As a mom - and an "adult" who watches the news, I'm very aware of the dangers in the world.  I was prepared for any and every conversation that may come up.  In my heart and mind, I knew these drills were put into place as a result of Columbine & Virginia Tech types of events.  Massacres aimed at children.

To ME this was an incredibly scary event.  I understood.

You see, our family knew Matt La Porte.
Does that name ring a bell at all?
If not, Matt was the young hero at Virginia Tech who tried to stop Seung-Hui Cho from killing his fellow classmates during the Virginia Tech Massacre.  He was killed in his attempts.  Matt was my nephew's best friend.  They grew up together, went to Carson Long together had a friendship.  I didn't know him very well, but his death to made a huge impact on our family.  Enough of an impact that Emergency Lock Down Drills are significant in my mind.

When the girls came home from school I mentioned that I was at their school and that I got to partake in the Emergency Lock Down Drill.  Neither of them were phased.  My 10 year old even giggled a little bit.

"We all hide in a closet mom - boys in one, girls in the other.  What room were you in?  Where did you hide?"

It's a game to them.  It's hide and seek.

I guess that's good, in a way - but what if.  What IF this was a real event?  What if something terrible were taking place?

I can say that I would have ended up dead.

Huddled up in the corner, in the dark with the Child Study Team remaining quiet & as still as possible - I accidentally kicked the radiator.  It echoed through the classroom as the flashlight of the principal went by.  I would have given us all away.  I would have gotten us all killed.

How do I tell my children the real reason for these drills?

How do I tell them that their world has become so that they need to hide away in a corner, just in case someone tries to come and kill them?

This reality has hit me so hard.

Perhaps I'm overly dramatic.

But this is where I am with this..

As a mom, who is 110% on top of her kids (whether that's good or bad, I'll find out on the therapy couch one day) I would know if my child were struggling with murderous intent.  I would see their cell phones, their computers.  I'm involved.

What makes someone snap, with the result being "Emergency Lock Down Drills" for little kids.

Something I'll never understand.

I know this entry is on the dark side today.... I hope I've given you food for thought.

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog.



  1. I fear for them too. I just have no idea what kind of world will be left for them 30 years from now. The worst we had to go through in school were tornado and fire drills. Going on lockdown because of a shooter, well ... that's just terrifying. It sounds like the school does not dwell on the drama of WHY they do this, just that it's a necessary precaution. Like most kids, I'm sure they never consider that it could ACTUALLY happen some day, just like we never thought there would be a real tornado or a real fire (and, to our good fortune, there never was). It's the tough part of parenting; understanding that we may not be able to protect them always and that there really ARE evil things in the world that they will likely have to face. No parent wants that for their child.

  2. Jenn, times are absolutely terrifying these days. Several weeks ago, during Volleyball season, my youngest came home and said she was a nervous wreck at school today because they had a 'code orange'. When I asked what that was, she said they brought in drug-sniffing police dogs and had them checking lockers. Several lockers down from my kid's locker the dog reacted and they found pot in the locker of an 8th grade boy. Horrified and stunned doesn't even begin to describe how I was feeling. But she did break the tension I was feeling when she told me that she was so worried that the dog would sniff out the Ibuprofen she had in her locker, since they're not supposed to have ANY kind of drugs!

  3. Something totally different but a situation happened last year that made EVERYTHING real for us. Real scary. A girl in the 6th grade with the Princess had an Amber Alert issued for her. There were no details at the time. The school is literally 3 or 4 blocks from our apartment. An Amber Alert got her attention. For two days the girl was missing. On the second day there was a News Conference saying that the girl had been taken by her Mom & they were unaware of the Mother's mental state. FREAKED us straight out. THAT time it was the child's mom....what if it wouldn't have been? Would she have EVER been found?
    I used to have UNSPEAKABLE ANXIETY about stuff like this. The What ifs. It seriously got so bad that I would have panic attacks if The Princess was gone & I couldn't get in touch with her. Therapy helped a lot. I'm not GOOD at it..but I TRY to accept that there are ALWAYS gonna be things out of my control. I still FREAK OUT, don't get me wrong. I am LEARNING to breathe through those experiences. LEARNING. Ok, I haven't hyperventilated yet. I AM working on it. This is a tough one girl. My heart understands. Love u. Cyn
    A.D.D. Music Mamma


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