Yesterday afternoon, I was lying down trying to get over a killer migraine when B poked his head in the bedroom. Our landlady, whose office is behind our cute little rental house, had stopped by to tell him that she’d gotten a text from her son that the elementary school had gone into lockdown.
I flew out of bed and to the computer, hoping to find some sort of information on line. None of the news sites had anything, so I texted my friend L, who was in charge of carpool. She texted back immediately that she was with all our kids, safely in a classroom, and asked me to call the other mom in our carpool group.
When I’ve seen reports of lockdowns on the news, I’ve always looked at the parents standing outside the police line and wondered why they had shown up. What were they thinking to do? Stand in the line of fire? Push the police aside and storm the building?
Last fall, when I was at our preschool during the shooting on the UT campus, I was calm and collected the entire time. But I was there, with my kids, sure that they were safe.
Yesterday was completely different. I had no information, other than a few texts, on what was happening. The ONLY thing that stopped me from getting in the car and driving up to the school was the fact that L was with my kids. She’s like a second mother to them, and I knew she’d make sure they were safe.
So I stayed home and paced the floor, stopping to check the news sites and yelling at the Statesman on twitter for not having any information posted.
Finally L texted that it was all over and they were on the way home. I may have started crying. And I may have gotten weepy again when the girls got home and we talked about what happened. And again when I talked to Ella about Columbine and why reports of guns at school are so scary for adults.
In the end, according to the chatter on the school moms’ Facebook Group, the whole chain of events kicked off when someone saw a dad carrying a furled umbrella that looked like a gun and reported it to the office.
I’d like to take that umbrella and beat that dad within an inch of his life with it. Who the f*ck thinks it’s a good idea to take something that looks like a gun on to a school campus.
We never had lockdowns in quiet, little Sarasota, where I grew up. Our most exciting events were tornado warnings, in which we were told to lie down in the street right next to the curb or make a break for the YMCA across the street and hope for the best.
Ours wasn’t even the only school lockdown yesterday – a high school where a friend teaches was locked down because of shots fired nearby. And last Friday, a middle school in Lake Travis was locked down for four hours because someone said the saw a gun.
What is this world coming to?
I hugged all my kids extra tight last night and spent a long time lying in bed thinking of the what-ifs. All I could picture were the films of the injured student at Columbine climbing/falling out of a window. I didn’t get much sleep.
This morning the girls trooped off to school like nothing had ever happened. I gave them a hug and kiss as they left, even though I wanted to keep the home forever.