protect our kids

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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