Truth be Told: I'm terrified taking my girls to school because of the Sandy Hook shooting

kids walking into schoolThis morning I woke up and I contemplated keeping my girls home from school because the alternative just seems too dangerous. In the wake of what has happened at Sandy Hook elementary school, I am left feeling much like I did after 9/11; defeated, vulnerable and terrified. I am afraid to leave my children at school.

School is supposed to be a place of sanctuary, some place that is supposed to be safe. This is what we tell ourselves when we drop our hearts off every single morning. I found myself trying to explain to my children the events that transpired with Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary school last Friday. But how do you explain a senseless massacre to children who are still coming to terms with understanding death? How do we explain to our children what happened to inform them of how to protect themselves and stay safe but not scare them to death?

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I really didn't want to talk to them about it. I wanted to shield them from the real world, for just a bit longer and let them linger in a place where Santa is real, elves magically move and people are inherently good but Adam Lanza has forced my hand and caused me to need to talk to my children about the unspeakable; bad people who murder children in their safe haven. Instantly images of my sweet 5-year-old unsuspectingly napping during kindergarten, so beautiful and so vulnerable, immobilize me with fear.

I'm sure many of you know how I felt this weekend explaining to my children what happened. I was shocked and fearful, but I told my babies that they are safe. I felt like a liar. I was saying the words to reassure them, but I don't know if I believe them...or if I ever will again.

The senseless murder of the beautiful children of Sandy Hook Elementary has cut me to my quick. My own girls are only 5 and 7 and the thought of this happening at their school is too much to bear. But the reality is it could happen anywhere.

This morning I woke up and I lingered watching my sweet girls sleep before our days began; savoring in the moment. I watched them lie there in peaceful slumber, thanking God that they are safe. This morning I did not multi-task, half-listening to their chatter as they ate breakfast. No, this morning, I sat with them and hung on their every word.

I brushed their hair and enjoyed every giggle. I drove them to school, walked them into class and hugged and kissed them, telling them I loved them, until they fell away from me in sheer embarrassment. I watched them walk away and I wanted to yell, "Come back!" I walked out of school and drove home in quiet contemplation. I walked in the front door, closed the door and I began to sob. I am afraid and I am not sure I will ever feel safe again.

Image via The TRUTH about Motherhood

Topics: brave kids  breaking news  children  crime  death