Sunday, April 22, 2007


I have purposely not written anything about the Va Tech shootings, and now the NASA shooting, because my mind just couldn't glom together anything remotely intelligent about these senseless acts. All it knows is that my heart is hurting so much over this...and I try to force it on to other thoughts.

A year or so ago, we had to attend a "Violence in the Workplace" training session. We had to watch a video which included footage of an actual hostage/shooting incident. So many times we sit in these training classes and poke fun, think "it can't happen to me." We all sat in that room and truly discussed what scared us, how it should be handled. We have a secure office, but it is only as secure as the people with access make it. Too many times, people let someone's spouse, or friend, or that vendor in a limited access door so that they don't have to walk to the front door. This worries me. How do we know Joe Bob and Jill Ann are still happily married? Maybe you've been letting him in for 5 years, but now he's mad at Jill Ann cause she kicked him out. I think of these awful things all of the time.

My children attend school on a military base. So many people ask me if I'm worried they will be targeted. I do worry, but not as much as you would think. There are so many precautions taken, so much more security, so many people more aware, simply because of where it is. I don't function under the disillusion that nothing bad is going to happen to them, I just worry a little less. Now next year, when the oldest goes to High School downtown...that scares the shit out of me.

How do we reconcile this fear with providing our children the opportunity to grow and thrive? Of course, we all want to lock them in where it's safe and keep them small forever. I sometimes think that we look at our own childhood through rose colored glasses. We all talk about how we were able to run around all day with little to know parental supervision, and schools were left unlocked all day, and so on. But I remember being taught stranger danger from a very young age. I remember stories of children that were stolen, abducted, killed and/or molested. Maybe it's more prevalent now, but it happened then, too. My husband and I try to find balance. We teach our children to be aware of their surroundings, to stay in groups, to be where they are supposed to be. We share the scary stories with our teenage daughter, so that she understands where we are coming from. We check up on our kids, we expect to meet parents before they go with them...all those common sense things that we as parents must do. But each day, as I send them off to school, the youth center, and daycare, I say a little prayer. When I hear scary things are happening, I say a little prayer. And most of all, each night, I say a little prayer thanking God for my blessings...and for keeping them safe for one more day.

My heart goes out to all the victims and their families, including the shooter's. I won't even pretend to understand the anguish you are living with. May you find peace in heart someday.

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