Fear

It’s interesting how life turns out somedays. I had decided to write a post about fear in our country today. About how everyone is afraid of everything and about how the media and the extremists seek to cause more fear in us. About how it controls us and about how we loose when we let it.

Then there was a shooting in a kindergarten room/elementary school in Connecticut. 

As I sat there watching the footage I felt that fear. I knew that some times the fear is real, and it is necessary, and it is right.

I went to pick up my son a little earlier than usual from half day kindergarten and I sat in the parking lot for a little bit and I saw the other parents who were upset and sitting in their cars too. Many of us walked up to the doorway earlier than usual. Some moms had some tears on their faces. An aid who brought out the boy in a wheelchair she helps was beside herself because she had just been informed of the shooting. 

Some of the moms were contemplating keeping their children home next week during the school party day because so many people would be in the school – parents coming to the party. 

I don’t feel that way really – I understand the sentiment. But these days, this could happen in a theater, in a mall, in a grocery store parking lot. 

No, I would rather let my child try to live a normal life. I want to protect him, but I can’t protect him from everything. I have learned that. I got cancer, my mom got a terrible disease that ate away at her brain, some kids down the street from where I worked a few years back got shot in their high school. It was called Columbine. 

I won’t stop looking for solutions, but I won’t let the fear stop me from living either. 

Hm. Maybe cancer taught me even more than I know. There is real fear. There is fear of the known. There is fear of the unknown. There is fear involved in raising a child. Entrusting him to people who aren’t his parents, letting him go off on his own some one day. Then a lot, then move away. Raising a child these days – it’s hard and it’s scary. I don’t want to change the way he lives because of it though. We do that enough with stranger danger and holding hands to cross the street and safety seats and a million other things. He should be able to go to school without being afraid. Even though I have that fear, he doesn’t have to and I won’t make him.

My thoughts are with all the families in that Connecticut community. I know it will take a lot of healing to get through. In the next few days we will hear all the stories, see the sobbing parents, learn more about the perpetrator and the victims. 

Let us not let the fear overwhelm us. 

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