I Wish I Had The Answers.

I Wish I Had The Answers.

I had a post planned for today, but it’s going to have to wait. It’s the kind of post that can. Mostly it was going to have links and such and I’m not much in the mood for a multiple link post. I’m worn out, so you’re going to get some words.

I woke up on my couch just before four this morning. My husband was on the other couch. This happens a lot, us falling asleep in front of the TV. When Kris realized I was up, he told me about the shooting at a mall very close to my house. I wasn’t able to fall back to sleep after that.

I had three different part time jobs in that mall. When I staged my own What Not To Wear style intervention, this is the mall where I replaced my wardrobe. This was the mall of my youth, where I went to try to meet boys, hang out with friends, and buy my New Kids on the Block posters. Just on Sunday, I met up with someone in the parking lot of this mall to sell her an old car seat.

Now this mall was the location of yet another shooting. Thankfully, no one but the shooter was hurt last night. I know he had bad intentions, but I can’t help feeling sadness for his family, his friends, and even for him. To think that this is what people become – one who murders or attempts murder for reasons we may never know – it’s devastatingly sad.

Today I happened to see a post on Facebook that mentioned a local school on lock down, but didn’t say which. I went to Google, thankful that my own son wasn’t in school today, only to find two different area schools were locked down due to threats of gun violence. My heart sank again for the second time in about twelve hours.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to stay safe. I don’t know how to protect my son. And I worry that my family or friends will become the victims of this crazy violence. I wonder what it is that causes these people, in some instances practically babies, to turn so hateful and angry. Could someone I know take this sort of action? One of my son’s classmates? The child of a friend?  My own child?

I took my son to his first real karate class tonight. I sat and watched Nathan jump into things, in a manner quite unlike him. He wasn’t shy or nervous. He participated, he focused and he was joyful. I started to well up, but this time with pride and happiness.

Tonight my son is safe in his bed, tuckered out from being a kid. I wish I could keep him safe and innocent and small forever. I can’t and I probably shouldn’t try. Instead, I think I’ll focus on talking to him, loving him, and doing what I can to make his world a better place.

This is NaBloPoMo Day 5.


16 Responses to “I Wish I Had The Answers.”

  1. We worry here, too. A shooting at Santa Monica College, then LAX just devastated me. I went into a black hole for a while. We especially worry about my husband, who works for a school with no real security. I worry for our nation, our world…

    • michellelongo says:

      It’s hard not to worry. And when it’s far away, it’s easier to pretend it can’t happen here. This could have been another devastating event. I don’t know why it wasn’t (as much as I’m glad about it). It’s just so scary.

  2. Stacie says:

    I can’t believe how close you were to the shooting! So scary. All you can do is do the best job of keeping him safe. I still yell at Shane for running across the parking lot but guns? Eeeeek! I hate them.

    • michellelongo says:

      13 miles. Too close. I knew being a mom would make me worry a lot more than I ever did, but I never dreamed I’d worry about stuff like this, and certainly not so frequently.

  3. Cindy Reed says:

    So scary. I too know that mall well. It’s hard to feel safe anywhere.

    • michellelongo says:

      I’m going to become a shut in at the ripe old age of 37. And my kid is going to be the freak kid whose mom never lets him go out.

  4. That would be very disturbing especially a place where you spent so much of your free recreational time. Things like that can happen anywhere. I hate it. But so glad Nathan enjoyed karate. It’s been a real confidence booster for my Joe.

    • michellelongo says:

      When it’s not right in my face I can be a little more in denial. I know that’s not the best coping strategy, but thinking about it all the time doesn’t feel healthy either. Nathan did love karate and I’m so happy to have found something that made him smile like that.

  5. My cousin’s daughter was there to see a movie, but they got evacuated. My heart sank too, as it does every time there’s news like this.

    Yes, being a Mom brings you to a special new level of worry in this game of life. But you will get through it. We all will. We can’t live in fear. I’ve had lots of worry-filled milestones over the years as Cameron has grown up. (Not quite ten yet, but you know what I mean.)

    This year I got to new fun of putting him on a school bus in the mornings at my campus and waiting for his bus after school. Sure, I could worry about all the things that *could* happen between his campus and mine, but I just can’t let myself think that way. I’d go crazy.

    But I understand.

    • michellelongo says:

      Ah! The bus! One of the big reasons we bought this house is the school is a block away. I can run there in less than 3 minutes, and that gives me some comfort. I try not to worry about these things, but then when this or Sandy Hook or things that feel that much closer to my present world happen, it’s hard to keep that up. Yesterday it was hard not to think about it. Voting in a governor (again!) who doesn’t have the people’s interests at heart is going to make today hard. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Must look to the good things and fight for positive change. It’s the only way to not get dragged down.

      I’m glad your cousin’s daughter was OK.

  6. Robbie says:

    Too bad we cannot insulate our children from the violent, ugly reality that has become life.

    • michellelongo says:

      It really is. I’m only glad right now that I don’t have to explain all of these things to such a young child. Give it a year and he’ll probably know way more than I’d like him to.

  7. I take comfort in the fact that the shootings that get the most attention are truly the most rare.

    Wow. That sounds absolutely odd. How can that provide comfort of any sort?

    It’s truly a situation of wrong place, wrong time. And we can take refuge in the randomness just as it is what we might find most frightening.

    Still, as you know, I’ve taken refuge in working to affect change. It doesn’t change things TODAY — or even TOMORROW. But like so many things, it’s a long view. We didn’t get here overnight — and we won’t tear ourselves away from this addiction to quick solutions to desperation and anger and helplessness overnight either.

    • michellelongo says:

      There is comfort in the randomness and I agree about the attention each incident draws. I’ve been on the sidelines of the gun thing, not doing what my heart tells me I should. And after the election yesterday, I need to raise my voice.

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