“I may know the word but not say it. I may know the truth but not face it.”
I lived a lot of my life where people hunted… deer, rabbit, squirrel… I have gone on a deer hunt (ok, I did kick up leaves and send silent vibes of RUN DEER RUN) but I get it. I have friends and family that hunt with bows and shot guns. They eat the meat and enjoy it. It is a way of life. It just is.
In all my years on the earth, I have never met anyone who hunted game that resides in US with an AK- 15. Just throwing that out there.
But this is not that post, not yet. It is a parenting post. This one hit me hard. I have a high school student. I see the ages and realize those parents have already ordered those announcements and cap/gown they can never use AND will arrive in a few weeks/months to rip the wound wide open again. I cannot fathom the depth of their loss. I hugged my child very, very closely that night. And then we talked.
I asked the questions I probably should have asked long ago. He is a generation that has had lock down (sorry ALICE) drills since first grade. I said, do you have a plan… sort of a mental idea of what you would do. Yes, he said, for every place in the school, I have thought of this often. I have picked something in every area I could use as a weapon. I can tell you exactly what in every class room I would use to bar the door and have scoped out hiding places. This was all told very matter of fact and with details, feeling me out if I thought the flag would make a good spear like assault, etc. And my heart was broken and proud.
I am heartbroken he has grown up in a world where this is a norm. That somehow I failed in protecting him. And yet I am proud, he is better prepared than I will ever be in an attack. He is aware, more so that we think they are with their headphones in their ears. And he is also angry. Like the survivors in FL, he is angry at his elders and rightfully so. I’m proud of these kids today. They give me hope in many different ways and they can stand on my lawn any time they want.
Lyrics by Natalie Merchant.