Yeah. Those two.
The workday started as most usually do. I carefully balanced two giant drinks, a gallon of water, my purse, lunch, and stack of grading. I speed walked into the school hallway, eager to set down my lunch and start my day. The kids came in, we learned stuff, the day was over and I was at parent pick up duty. I had walked into the hallway again when a voice came over the PA system. There was some scuffling and then the notice that we were in a real lock down.
There was no time to panic, adrenaline set all of us in motion.
Three teachers, myself and two students ran into my classroom. I wasn’t sure if the door was locked so one teacher stayed in my classroom as I ran outside to make sure it was locked properly. It was, she swung the door open and within seconds we were huddled together, calling 911.
Something interesting happened.
I have never been in a situation like that, the unknown so sharp it was palatable. Would I live? Would we be found out? What was going on outside? All we knew was there was a shooter. Where? Who? We didn’t have any answers to those questions. Some of us were brave, some of us cried, my emotions hung in the balance between the two. I kept thinking don’t panic. DO NOT PANIC.
My life clear as a bell racing through my mind and the only two things that mattered in that moment were, Do my children know I love them OH! HOW I LOVE THEM!…Do they know??? How can I tell them? The thought of not being able to mother them on this earth brought salty tears to my eyes.
And the clear thought that I was sad about my failed marriage, the emotion that hung there with it. Heavy. Draping the moment and my thoughts. Interesting.
My greatest triumph and my greatest failure slicing me seamlessly like a knife through cheddar cheese. The first person I text when I could get my hands on a phone was my ex-husband. I am in a lock down. I am not sure what is going on, but if it is the worst thing…. Please tell the children I love them.
This is when I said a prayer. I plead for help, protection and to let me know the truth of the situation. I felt calm and peaceful after that prayer and I knew everything was going to be OK.
And it was. There was a woman who was drunk two houses down the street from the school harassing children with a gun as they walked home. It turned out to be a BB gun. She is facing a stack of assault charges.
I walked to my car. Called my Mom. I cried a little, grabbed a Diet Coke at Circle K because I was suddenly exhausted. Life went on, I was late for the plumber who was waiting at the house to fix my garbage disposal. Aydan was texting me, “Mom…where are you??” I had pulled pork sandwiches that had been slow cooking all day waiting for us to eat and the kids had piano lessons. These things seemed so trivial somehow. I skipped my run I wasn’t up for it tonight.
It is the month we show gratitude. I am thankful for: police officers, the amazing women I teach with, children…. my own and my students, locks on doors, cell phones, prayer, my life the good parts, the bad parts and even the ugly parts, and home.
In that moment all I wanted to do was come HOME.
XOXO-The Sunny D