Being a parent can be terrifying. Aside from the every day challenges that raising a child brings, we sometimes encounter situations where everything is completely out of our control.
I had my first OH MY GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? moment last week...when Angeline called me to tell me that there had been a shooting at her school and they were on lock down.
Of course, you know exactly what I thought when I heard this. It hasn't been very long. And quite honestly, I even Columbine is still on my mind. These horrific displays of human cruelty aren't easily erased from our memories. We go about our daily lives, we move on - but all it takes is those two words to bring it all rushing back: SCHOOL SHOOTING.
Angeline was upset, crying, terrified. She has been grounded from using her phone, so she used a friend's phone to call me and tell me what was happening. I reassured her that she would be okay, that the police were on scene and hunting down the suspect...
And then I cried. And then I called Chris and my mom and told them what was happening - and then of course, I posted it on Facebook so that people would know what was going on.
We live across the street from the school, and I could see the helicopters flying overhead.
As I scrambled to try to find out what was happening, I was shocked at the lack of information!
It was disturbing enough that the school wasn't notifying parents that their children were under a lock down - I mean, really, I am disgusted with Miami-Dade County Public Schools for not notifying parents that their children were in danger.
I checked online and didn't find anything through Google. I began searching all of our local news stations, and there was nothing there either. The only place I found anything was on Twitter.
And people laugh when I say that I get my news from Twitter!
All I could find out was that there was a burglary in the neighborhood, and that suspects had fled the scene and they thought they were on school property. That's not a lot of information to go on, but at least it wasn't an actual shooting at the school. An armed suspect on school grounds is horrible, don't get me wrong. But there's a world of difference between a school massacre and an armed gunman on school property.
In the end, the police caught the suspects and no one was hurt. Thankfully. Yet, this whole ordeal has put me on edge.
It's my responsibility as a mom to protect my child from harm. As much as we try to shelter her from things, we can not protect her from everything. Whether it be an armed suspect hiding on school grounds, a home invasion, a car accident - there are so many things out there that could go wrong...it is terrifying and overwhelming!
Every time I think about it, I just want to hug Angeline and tell her how much I love her. What else can I do?