I’ve been avoiding writing about the horrible things that has happened at Sandy Hook Elementary this Friday. The logical part of my brain says, well that happened on the East Coast, and this is supposed to be a local St. Louis blog. Don’t write about. Who cares what you have to say?
Yeah, right, I thought.
The trouble is, the shooting deaths of 20 little kids touches every mom in Connecticut, the U.S. and the world. If there were moms on Mars, they would be crying, too.
I have two boys, five and fourteen. When the story broke Friday morning I was cutting out snowflakes with my youngest, who goes to afternoon kindergarten. I was listening to talk radio, which is difficult when you’re crafting with a five-year old. Between his demands for bigger flakes or more diamond shapes, I barely heard the first news report.
I heard something about a shooting, far away, a couple people killed. One might be a kid.
So sad, I thought.
I kept cutting and adding silver glitter to our flakes. We hung a half dozen or so more snowflakes to our growing collection on the patio door.
The media was getting a clearer picture by noon, when I needed to get my kid ready for school. The death toll was getting into the teens by then and it sounded like the gunman had wiped out an entire kindergarten class. I was starting to feel queasy.
My kid is in kindergarten, I thought.
My knee jerk reaction was to keep the little guy home. But really, why? How to you explain that to a kid? Sorry honey, a bunch of kids a thousand miles away were killed by a lunatic, so you’re not going to school today.
My logical brain muttered something about statistics, how there’s 24 million or so elementary children in this country and 23,000 kids in my school district alone. The odds of something terrible happening to any one child is pretty astronomical.
Just tell that to a mom in Sandy Hook, I thought.
So I got my kid ready for school and put him on the bus. I went back inside and read about the shooting as the news unfolded.
And I cried.