As we approach the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown Connecticut. I am reminded of my biggest fear. A fear that just doesn’t haunt me because the anniversary is so close by… a fear that has haunted me since the moment Katy started Kindergarten. A fear from so down deep that it will often wake me up in a cold sweat and has often caused Katy to miss a day of of school because I had an irrational fear that something was going to happen that day.
You see for 5 almost 6 years I was the constant that could keep Kate safe. She was safest inside me during utero when the fragility of her special heart was so unknown… I knew as long as she was inside me she was safe.
At the hospital she was NEVER without Mike or I. We were always there advocating for her. On the rare occasions that we couldn’t be, she was with grandparents who had immediately access to us and those times were few and far between.
Then the horribleness of Sandy Hook happened and I imagined myself as a teacher before I imagined myself as a parent and that was hard enough… I played through how would I keep all my students safe… and then somewhere it dawned on me that just next year that it could be my daughter and there would be some other teacher… a teacher I don’t even know responsible for keeping her safe. I tell you that shook me to my core and brought me to my knees and still does. The thoughts and feelings I have as I type this with tears streaming down my face are real. This is real. REAL. Scary pain. Pain that hurts like no other. Because after all I have, we have protected our baby from we can’t protect her from this.
I don’t have this same fear for Patrick yet…. he is in a tiny most wonderful Preschool with small ratios and teachers that are just a part of our family. I feel he is safe there. No threat.
Katy’s school is big and when I enter her school I don’t get that warm fuzzy feeling…. granted her teacher is AMAZING if I could have hand picked her myself she would be the one. I have no doubt that someone sent her just for Katy. That said she has 22 kids to protect and what if she can’t protect my Katy.
When I volunteer in the classroom I just look out to the row of windows… the row of windows that I imagine to be much like the windows that were shot through by that crazed gunman… I look around the room and wonder where in the heck would the teacher be able to hide those precious children.
I know that it is unlikely… but it doesn’t make the fear any less real.
Please hug your children and pray for the families that lost their sweet babies.