We pack up their lunch, make sure they have their gym clothes and books, and bundle them into the car or out to the bus stop, take a deep breath and begin our day. School’s kind of a free period for parenting, or at least for a lot of parents.
Do kids think about yesterday’s school shooting as they are being methodically herded out the door? Yesterday’s? There’s always a yesterday’s school shooting it seems.
We seem to forget pretty quickly, moving onto the next one, and then the next until we simply can’t notice anymore. It’s not that we don’t want to, we literally can’t. We are numb and blind. It’s how we survive, those of us lucky enough not to be on the wrong end of the guns.
One school, one classroom, 19 children and 2 adults just yesterday. Uvelde, Texas.
My heart breaks.
It won’t get better. It will most likely get worse. We are breeding generations of traumatized children. We tell them with our inaction that we cannot protect them, that we will not protect them. The entire school system is living with an abusive father who can fly into a rage and cause great harm in the blink of an eye. No one knows when dad will come home on a binge and fists, or worse, will fly.
So, it’s duck and run, keep your head down and mouth shut, and pray like hell that he’s in a good mood today. Don’t stick your head out until you know for sure. Yes. that’s the ticket, survive to live another day.
Living like that, surviving not thriving, takes a toll. It’s the silent killer hiding beneath the loquacious sound of gunfire.
At least gunfire kills quickly … for the immediate victims that is. Trauma keeps on killing, killing with a thousand cuts until the traumatized reach out and in their pain, create more trauma — another drunk abusive dad, another school shooter, a disconnected self-interested politician.
And the music plays on — empty chairs, empty classrooms, schoolkids gone and forgotten — round and round we go, where it stops, nobody seems to know., a game of musical chairs and not one child knows if they’ll be the next one out.
Until we are willing to put some skin in the game, evidently, more than just the skin of our children, until we are ready to walk into the streets, bringing the economy to a screeching halt and camp out until policy changes, until we take the time to plug up the phones, emails and letter systems of policy makers, this will not change. Next week we will be right back here again.