I Ask You. Who and Where Will Be Next?

I haven’t watched the news in a few days.

I’ve read the news, but I haven’t watched it.

Normally, my big kids (7 and 5 years old) and I wake up early each morning and sit together in the oversized recliner in the family room. I drink coffee, watch the news, and snuggle with them  while we wait for baby Valerie to wake up. At that point, we start the official morning routine. Get dressed, eat breakfast, gather backpacks, choose toys for sharing day.

For the last few days, though, I’ve let them watch Disney Junior rather than put on the news.

I don’t want them to see what has been going on. That children their age, precious children just like them, have been gunned down by yet another madman. I don’t want them to see or hear it. I don’t want them scared and terrified of school and people and of life. Because you know what? Mommy is scared enough.

Whenever people say “It could never happen here!” or “I never would have expected this here!” I shake my head. I think by now we have all learned that it can happen anywhere. By anyone. At anytime.

I wonder. Will my children’s Sunday school class be shot up? Will someone enter church and fire rounds at everyone inside? Will someone come to our school or the gym and kill dozens inside? If we go to the mall, will we leave alive?

I can hardly read the news. My heart twists up in pain when I see the beautiful faces of the children and teachers and principals whose lives were cut tragically short. I feel angry. I can hardly even think. To be honest, I feel fearful. I don’t know who is going to strike next, or when, or where.

My children have not seen the news and they have no idea what has transpired. But when they each asked to sleep with me last night, I didn’t refuse. When I turned to my left, there was little Vincent sleeping soundly. When I turned to my right, there was Eva, reaching for my hand. I kept my ear out for baby Valerie. When I hadn’t heard from her in a while, I went to check. There she was, asleep in her crib.

I did not sleep, but I had my children with me, safe and warm.

I am so sick of this. I hate it. Things have to change, and they have to change now. It’s not just a matter of gun control or mental health. It’s all of that and so, so much more.

NO MORE.

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