December 18, 2012 by vlittle528
This was not the post I planned for the first one of my newly relaunched blog. I had actually planned on writing a bit more about my son’s ADHD, making him three times exceptional. I had planned on “re-introducing” myself from my frugal mom blog to my more “daily life of a mom with two kids blog.” But part of life truly is living in the moments, and the moment currently involves the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary.
Dropping my son off today was definitely a quiet occasion. My first sight happened to be the half-staff flags with the empty swings in the background. The mood was sullen, and my son happened to point out the flags, which started a line full of Kindergartners talking about why they were so low as the parents hid their tear-filled eyes behind sunglasses. The presence of both the principal and the vice-principal reminded us that today was different. We took longer to leave as we watched our sweet babies walk all the way inside, no longer feeling the comfort that we used to seeing those doors close tightly behind them.
I heard our principal tell someone that sadly this was our new normal. WHAT is the new normal? Flying flags at half-mast because there was a mass shooting at a school? Feeling terrified when we drop our children off at school, a place that used to be safe? Because I don’t accept this as our new normal. I would be more willing to accept different security measures as the new normal. I would be willing to accept different solutions, different actions, different responses. But all that seems to be happening is that we grieve deeply for awhile, and then the memories fade until the next tragedy. Nothing changes, everyone stops voicing their opinions on gun laws or mental health changes or whatever else needs to be discussed and CHANGED somehow. But leaving things as is and just waiting for the “new normal” to happen again isn’t acceptable.
Right now, in this moment, my new normal is a little girl who thinks ballet class above her are monsters that are going to get her. My son made the decision to throw away the paper gun my nephew made him because it is what hurt people. My new normal was dropping my kids off and memorizing their faces and smiling brightly tot hem in case it was the last time I would ever see them again. That is today’s new normal.
And then tonight in the ER (another post another day), I had the eerie feeling of sitting there and wondering what must happen at a hospital when that call comes in. The waiting room was full of very sick kids, many little babies. The Dr.’s were calm, patient, and efficient. And it made me wonder who different it would be. The sounds, the screams, the silence, the tears, the blood. And then I realized that the Dr.’s in Newtown expected far more than the three patients they got. They waited, nervously and hopefully, for children that would never arrive. I guess we kind of all feel the same thing to different extents. Is it worse just waiting and trying to prepare for what you don’t know is coming? Or having some kind of control…getting the chance to try…even if you lose in the end?