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Friday
May182018

Wounds of Santa Fe - A Mother’s Reflection on Fear 

As the mother of a high school student advocate for change in safety standards within our schools with nerves of steel and complete and total refusal to be restricted by the ire bullies bring,  I sit today wrestling with unbridled heartbreak at the 22nd school shooting to occur in our country this year alone, and vulnerably ask other mothers - has this excruciating wave caused you to consider home schooling?  Is this a weakness we may bend to, or is this a brave and empowering option? We homeschool our youngest as this practice is necessary to fit her learning style, with the intention of her returning to public school once she is able. But at this point, my maternal instincts are tearing me apart as to what could or should be a decision or response relative to the threat? 

 

As a 70’s child, I feel physically ill, that our children will never know that feeling of freedom and safety. 

 

I often wonder if the internet and social media has truly been gasoline on the proverbial fire that has historically threaded the high school experience. Gun control is one thing, Mental Illness is another, at times they combine. These Mixed with social toxicity is the perfect storm it seems we find ourselves watching while in denial that embers travel. 

 

To what degree is our fear vindicated by refusing to disturb the status quo? Keeping our children in a fishbowl at the carnival so a roque can claim his prize. 

 

Upon my return from NYC in April with our youngest for her 13th birthday, a ritual we have celebrated with each of our four children through the years (this one being our last) a lovely flight attendant, who lives near our town, and I struck a confidence and bonded over the current state of our schools and our children’s safety, my daughter Cassie’s part (14 at the time) in charging forward with her peers in leading a movement for change. Only upon decent did she share quietly that the pilot of our flight lost his 14 year old daughter to Parkland. As we landed, the father, no longer a pilot in my eyes you traditionally want to thank for a safe arrival, exited the cockpit. This was the first time in my life that loss was larger than any life, and the life that was his was gone. A beautiful human being vacant in grief, a ghost wandering to find his soul. Because that is what our children become. Our soul.  I wanted to scream for him, dig into the freshly layered soil above his self so oxygen could reach his lungs. Then he was gone. The wounds so freshly carved left a trail my site could not contain. 

 

With 22 shootings this year alone, 12 dead today and 10 injured in Santa Fe, TX today, who is to say our fears are invalid or incomparable to the possibility ours could be next? Golden Valley, Valencia High and others have already received numerous investigated threats. 

 

In looking at the beautiful young lives, each a perfect reflection of who could easily be mistaken for our now 15 year old and her friends; The long hair and porcelain faces of a generation of girls aching to recreate the aesthetic of a gentler time with voices launching to thread the canvas of a status quo. These images strike with the unbridled optimism and confidence of a generation so acutely aware of the crosshairs painted in invisible ink. The ones adults too often refuse to see in the dark. Because then they would be real. 

 

I think I have finally seen them. The crosshairs. Because I’m just so tired of aging the light to where we are expected to focus. It is this that frightened me most of all. 

 

 

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