The Unimaginable | Sheryl Steines

The Unimaginable

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I like to keep the blog light and airy. Maybe entertaining and informative. Sometimes quite possibly useful. But this has been one of those days that I can't think of anything else to write about but the events that get in the way of living. It's not light and happy. It's scary. Very scary because things like this happen to other people, not to me and my children.

With the many school shootings that have taken place in the past few years including the horror of Sandy Hook just last year, I'm faced with the notion that it could happen close to home, in my backyard to be exact. Today, I started my second day at my new job and within three hours of starting I happen across a question on Facebook. Why is the middle school and elementary school on lockdown?  I ask, “Where did you hear this?” as I frantically look on the district website for answers.

I spend the next half hour reading replies from other parents their sources giving them the news we all hope for, it's not as bad as it could be and yet, the school's are still in lock down, code red. I start to panic. One voice tells me to run home, work's not that important while the other side says, my husband's at home should he need to be there, and I'm only 5 minutes away. I can leave any time I need to, waiting there will be just as bad as waiting at home, there's nothing I can do.

Getting nothing done, I'm spending most of my afternoon glued to my phone waiting for the emails and phone calls from the district, picking up anything I can on Facebook.

I'm split in two again as I think of the child who brought weapons into the school. Part of me calls him or her a twerp, “How can they be so mean and stupid?” While the other side of me knows that this just might be a very troubled child calling out for help. As my two halves struggled to come to some conclusion on what this all means, my oldest who doesn't go to the school that's in lock down texts me and asks me what happens. I know she's bothered because she keeps texting. What do I say to her to make her feel better? What do I say for myself to make me not jump through the window and drive home?

As soon as I can I phone my youngest, the one who's been locked away all day because someone made a grave mistake. She's chatty and hyper as she explains what happened to her in school that day. She talks about her friends and some of them who where locked in a storage room for hours because their class had a wall of windows. I appreciate what the school district did to protect our kids while at the same time my heart goes out to these not yet adults for what they've had to endure.

We were lucky. They were lucky. I can't imagine what might have happened. I don't want to think about it and yet I'm closer to it than I thought I ever would be. I told both my children that I love them and I held them. I spent the evening with my youngest in my new office, chatting and talking about everything. Music, friends, and what happened today. She's better now. As better as she will ever be for today she experienced the type of fear I hope she never feels again. But she's good and she's loved. I might not fare so well.



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