Every inch of my being feels for the community, the victims, the families, the scared, the future. I felt a lump in my throat, the sweat building up, the heat radiating from inside and tears forming. In a high pitched, screech, I heard “mommy, I want a cookie!” I took a huge breath as if to chew up and swallow my feelings. My-whiney, not a morning person-3 yo urgently needed me to explain why sugar at 7am is not great for her. I found myself trying to move on with my morning.
As I pushed away the tears, I realized if I move on with my day, as if it’s out of my control or treat it as another sad day in the news, I’ve failed those victims. I’ve failed my daughter’s future. I’ve failed as a human. As a writer, I hope my one superpower is to make you feel. To think outside of your own point of view and to empathize with others. Maybe I can spark change in one person. Shooters can show up at any given time, any given place. If you think you or your children or your grandchildren are currently safe, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. We need change. Don’t be scared of change. Be scared of weapons easily accessible to unstable and mentally unhealthy humans.
My 3 yo has her first lockdown drill at preschool next week. My heart breaks as I imagine it. The pitter patter of children’s tiny feet. The whispers. The giddiness for something new breaking up their routine. The fear settling in while learning of real life bad guys. The very moment our 3 yos learn the world is ugly and messy. This all shakes me to the core. Even as I sit, typing it out, my chest is heavy but I can’t stop because we need to feel and act NOW. I know the exact reason it shakes me to the core, because at any given time or place it can be my reality and her reality in this current environment. Times are ugly and messy and we need change. Quite simply new laws, regulations, policy, and mindsets. It’s true that not all humans are “bad” but this current environment we are accepting is creating a lot of “bad.” We all start out the same, as adorably ugly, squirmy, tiny innocent humans. We are all humans trying to live in a messy world. We need to stop spreading hate, give love&support, break stigmas, make professional help readily available, offer and accept help, spread mental health awareness. And obviously, reasonable regulation of firearms is a necessary start. We need to FEEL and ACT NOW.