The ten year old sleeps in the other room.
Earlier we spoke. I asked her if her school had talked about what happened in Florida. She said they had. I asked her what they said. She said that they talked about the children and then the school network television was turned on to the president telling them they would be safe.
I thought back to the morning after this horrific, life ending and life changing day. One of the radio stations had a psychologist on air to talk about how people can talk with their children, with one another. I was driving to work. And listening for something to help process this unprocessable horror.
The psychiatrist said do not promise your child they will be safe. Instead, tell them that the schools are doing everything they can to make sure children are safe.
My head is still swirling. I stopped myself from telling the ten year old anything different.
What is wrong with this world, this country, that we can’t tell our children they are safe.
We can look to blame. But we better look in the mirrors too.
There are gun laws, there aren’t gun laws, there are mental health needs, there are society problems, there are drugs, there are breakdowns, all applied to the bigger picture of ‘our world’. And we wait for the “world” to change it’s problems. And fix the broken.
But we better pay attention to what we are doing.
We are society. We are what is. No one wants to take responsibility for the changes that have occurred, from individual households to the organizations, law makers, and leaders.
No one wants to blame the things we now promote and put our own personal money into. Music? Movies? Video games? Demands on our communities and government without wanting to have expectations put on ourselves? Look at what ease and access children have to anything through formats like Youtube and other social media. People can get angry and say it’s not Youtube, but the parenting. Maybe it’s one, or the other, or both. There are too many components to what has changed in our society to blame any one thing. There is plenty of fault to go around.
All of it is all of us.
I reel from the shock of it. I struggle to accept this is how it is. I don’t have answers, not big ones. I know there are things I can do personally. I read of one man who took his semi-automatic gun to his local police station. He said he didn’t need it. Did he enjoy shooting it? Yes. Did he need it? No. And he didn’t think anyone else needed it so he gave it to the police. His choice, his action, his way of doing something. I can do something even though, to be honest, I don’t yet know what that something is. I am open to doing. To working. To being part of making sure we can tell our children they are safe.
The ten year old sleeps in the other room. And what do I say, how do I explain how we have progressed to this point in our society.
While she sleeps, I worry. I read. I look for answers.
I’m willing to be part of the answer.