Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

On the way home in the car just now, my 3rd grader talked for 15 minutes about the lock out drill they had at school today.  She said they have a new code word, and that today, one of her friends was in the bathroom when the drill (so, so, thankful it was a drill) occurred.  If you’re in the bathroom, she told me, you stand up on the toilet and stay quiet.  There’s a whole different protocol if you are outside on the playground, or in the hallways.  She must have said 9 times how sorry she was for the friend who was in the bathroom when the drill happened.

Ok, a couple of things:

  1. I am numb that this is our reality.
  2. My freshman son asked why in the world they have those drills, I explained they have to be prepared, because this type of thing has happened at schools.
  3. He asked why someone has to stay in the bathroom, why can’t they go back into the class?  I explained that if there was a ‘bad person’ on campus, they wouldn’t see the kids feet if they were standing on a toilet, and if they tried to open doors, they would all be locked.
  4. This is the normal for my kids.  My normal was a fire drill and an earthquake drill.
  5. am truly thankful that my kids are prepared for this atrocious possibility as best that they can be, and that they have the utmost caring and professional teachers I could ever ask for.
  6. I am numb that this is our reality.

My youngest went on to tell me that our friends that live on the East Coast ‘have a cool way they do their drill.  They get in their cubbies behind their backpacks so they are hidden.’  That boggled me, their stranger drill was ‘cool?’  And this has been a discussion among child friends?

Numb.

She then told me that she would not be able to handle it if she was the one in the bathroom and not in the classroom if there was the stranger drill.  I realized this was a moment I had to take ahold of and I firmly said ‘You would be able to handle it.  If it ever happens, and it WON’T, you will stand on the toilet, and keep perfectly still and quiet until you hear the signal that the drill is over.’

Numb.

Right before we got home, on the lighted freeway signs was an Amber Alert of an abduction that happened earlier today in Southern California.

Sometimes the reality of possibilities are too much to handle, I’m on overload right now.

It will pass, and smiles will be had later this evening I’m sure.  I wish I was still thinking about Pop Tarts and silly things to make me laugh.  But for this moment, I’m numb that this is our reality.

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10 comments

  1. Numb is the right word. Being on our district school board has opened my eyes to all the responsible parties for our children if one of these horrific incidents occurs. The teachers reactions, the principals influence, and the children’s capabilities of dealing with high stress are all worry some without the thought of a crazy on the loose. As an overbearing and loving parent I could freak out!

    When the chase went on this last year up to Auburn that resulted in 2 officers being murdered, the man at large hid in a house near my friend’s kid’s school. The school was on lock down for over 3 hours. Our friends son had to pee in a bucket in his class room. At the end of the day, the kids were calm and prepared because they knew how to react. As this is nothing but horrific, it is real and it is now. I am so thankful that the schools prepare for such tragedies!

    But I agree 100%, when did their little 9 year old worries go from “what’s for lunch” to “what could happen?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on You can't argue with crazy and commented:

    Today, day 3 of the new school year, I experienced my first real ‘lock down’ of a school my child was inside of.
    There were no children were walking out of the school during pick up time, which was strange.
    My friend who’s daughter I drive home along with mine texted me to ask if there was a lock down at their school. What?
    As a matter of fact, there were 4 police cars down the road I was parked on. I called the police department after it had been 10 minutes since my daughter and her friend should have been in the car, and they stated that the lock down had just lifted. The lock down was due to police activity near the school.
    I am very thankful for the quick and proper response the school gave, yet it was still unnerving to say the least.
    As every day, I am thankful for the schools my children attend, and the wonderful teachers that are with them each day.
    Still wish this wasn’t their reality though…

    Like

  3. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Media just makes us more aware. I hate to sound old, but when I was in elementary school in the 70’s we didn’t have lock down drills but we did have air raid drills.

    Liked by 1 person

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