I was sitting on my couch when I turned the news on December 14, 2012. I was four months pregnant with our first child. When I clicked the on button I sank into my seat. My whole body recoiled. Those babies. Those innocent children. How could this happen? I’m from Connecticut. I had friends who lived only a few miles away. My friends had parents who worked in the school district. How? How?
I watched for hours and hours, listening to survivors, seeing grief stricken parents on live television, and I couldn’t turn it off. Something had to be done. Something needed to happen right then and there to make sure that this NEVER happened again. We all sat and our hearts broke for the victims families. I couldn’t stop thinking about the little boy who used his body as a shield to protect his friend. He gave up his life. His name was Jesse.
He was a child.
We all said our prayers and held our families close. We watched President Obama speak to the parents and faculty, his voice shaking and his eyes watering. We all said we would do something. We didn’t know these kids or their teachers, but we knew something had to be done. Something. Anything.
We thought good and hard about how we could make a difference.
And then guess what happened? After we were done with all of our prayers and thoughts we went back to our lives. “It will never happen here. No way.”, we said.
It would never hit too close to home, because our neighborhoods and schools were safe. There weren’t any mothers burying their children in our cemeteries. We watched children play at the school park, without even considering that they could have been in danger.
We just went back to living life, just as if it had never happened.
Don’t get me wrong, we always remember once a year when there’s news coverage about the anniversary. We hug our children tight again and go back to cooking dinner or reading on our kindle.
We were safe. We didn’t need to worry. We didn’t need to protest, march, call our senators…no, we didn’t need to do any of that. Other people would, and how could we even make a difference? We’re just one person in a fishbowl of millions and millions of other people.
Then Parkland happened. Once again, I was glued to the TV, only this time I was holding my three children. I was confused. I thought we all decided that this kind of violence would never happen again. I thought we, as a country, had learned our lesson after Newtown.
Not a fucking chance.
More lives slaughtered. More parents who will never hug their children again. More spouses who will never sit at the dinner table with their loved ones ever again.
This is some extremely fucked up shit and it never should have happened.
But once again, here we are, offering up our thoughts and prayers as if Jesus himself is going to show up and make it all better. Its kind to say that you’re praying. It’s nice. But it doesn’t change a damn thing.
The survivors who courageously spoke up against our gun laws, against AR-15s, and against our leaders who sat around and did nothing, are braver than you or I will ever be. These students are our future and they are mad as hell. I want their anger, their hurt, their disappointment, their strength, and their bravery to trickle down to the next generation. I want everyone to feel the way they felt and still feel, because that’s the only way that this is going to change. The future voices of America are evolving into warriors of reform, and I’m damn proud of them.
They are setting an example for all of us. They are leading our marches, leading our vigils, and going directly to our President asking for necessary and immediate change. We all can choose to sit back and let someone else deal with this, or we can stand beside the youth that are leading us into a safer future. A safer future for all of us.
I registered Fiona for kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. I almost cried thinking how grown up she was and how much fun she will have. I was excited for her.
Now, I’m terrified. If it can happen anywhere. One day I could send her off to school and possibly never see her again. I cannot even begin to fathom that. I can’t go there. I just can’t.
So, what can I do? What can we do? It’s all so much. Every single step towards reform, whether big or small, makes a difference.
If you live in the metro Detroit area and you’re a mother, there’s an amazing group called *Moms Demand Action*. You can start there.
And just about anyone can go to this website, https://momsdemandaction.org/about/, and make a donation or figure out how you can help.
I decided to write this blog about this, because I want to hold myself accountable. I want to make sure that I do get off my ass and do something, because I can’t sit here and watch this all unfold again.
It could happen here. Let’s make sure it doesn’t.