Friday, December 14, 2012

Hold Your Children a Little Tighter

I sat down a few hours ago to update our blog and instead, have sat here in tears, watching the news. My heart is breaking as I watch and I hear them speak of this tragic elementary school shooting in CT.  At least 27 lives lost...18 of those are children. There are three in ths hospital right now, it is unknown of their condition. Please say a prayer for these three, as well as all families directly impacted by this tragedy, school officials, the community, and most importantly - the lives lost and the families left with this devestation.

As shots rang through the school and authorities were contacted, teachers told their students to gran a friend and make their way to the door. Teachers at this school managed to keep the children from screaming and running off track and instead working quietly together to get out of the school. The children have been moved to a local neighboring firehouse, where they await accountability for each child and then partnering them with their parents. Their are parents wondering aimlessly around this firehouse with no idea if their child was one of the casualties or whether they are safe inside the firehouse.

The shooter was 24 years old and entered the school, believed to be carring four weapons. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, entered the school, and began shooting. Authorities are not yet sure of the motive. As I write this, I cannot help but to wonder what in the hell made this man act in this way. How do you just wake up and decide to cold heartedly take lives of so many lives? How can someone take the lives of anyone, but innocent children? These are babies that had so much ahead of them.

As some families are reunited with their children and siblings, the years and moments before are flashing through their minds. They are reliving moments of the past and holding their little loved ones closer than they have ever held them before.

This situation makes me think of how schools are set up and makes me think how schools should be arranged as the elementary school my kids attended in Arkansas. The only way to enter the school was through the front doors at the office. The only way to enter anywhere that kids would be was through entering the office. There they would have to allow access by buttons into another set of double doors, that led into the rest of the school. This is something that needs to be done for every single school, as well as metal detectors. State taxes should cover this to be done at all schools. The safety of our children is by far the most important thing.

As a mother to three children in an elementary school, my heart is even more heavy. This hits a place within me that I cannot quite explain. I want to run and pick my children up right now from school and just hold them close. Everyday, as parents we take safety for granted when we drop our children off at school or watch as they board the bus, "knowing" they will be taken care of and kept safe inside the walls of their school. As parents, we don't tend to think that some random person will walk into a school and will receive the alert that your childs school has just been under an attack of a shooting. Let alone, that children and staff have lost their lives. As I look at photos of my children that surround me, I cannot help but to think of the innocence in ach of them. They still have so much ahead of each of them in this life.

Before this news outbreak, I had already started planning things out with our children for the weekend. Now I just want to sit on the couch and hold them close. I know that is not going to happen, as we all know how active my kids are! However, my weekend will revolve around them more than normal. Times like now leave us as parents realizing even more how fragile life really is and that we need to cherish our children and the small moments we have with them. We tend to cherish them as children because childhood is so short and time is precious, not because we fear someone shooting them or fatality in other ways.

Parents, let the little things go with your children - they are only children for a short time. We are blessed to have them fill our lives with chaos, laughs, tears, and even fights. Even when we want to run away because our children can make us crazy, we have been blessed to ahve them fill a void in our lives, to fill our hearts with a love that we could have never imagined without them. I can tell you our weekend will be filled with fun things around the house and in hopes many smiles and a lot of laughs! So, if you call and cannot reach us, this is why. I have been down for four weeks now due to my recovery and even though I am still recovering, I am better - just real sore and still a bit limited. However, we are going to enjoy this weekend! I encourage each of you to do the same. Wrap your arms around your children and let them know you love them. As parents, we tend to allow life "get in the way". Why? Life is short and time is precious. Remember that as your children make their way home from school in the next few hours.

As you are loving on your children, keep all in CT that are living this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. So many lives have been forever changed due to such a horrific act.

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