April 20th 1999, my hubs and I had only been married for 9 months and he was on this kick of wanting kids. I wasn't ready yet and was having way too much fun spoiling
his our nieces. Rather than discussing it I
avoided the issue, but that night it was something we HAD to talk about, because
that afternoon the news of the Columbine shooting was on every channel of the
TV. As we ate our dinner we sat a watched report after reports unfold the
events of the day. We saw children escaping through windows, the footage of the
cafeteria rampage, armed guards sneaking up sidewalks and all I could think
about was their poor mothers.
We didn't have kids and we were in another state with breaking hearts, glued to the TV. I couldn't imagine what one must have felt to have a child attending that school or even live down the street. And for the mom who ran to the school in fear but with hopes that she would see her daughter/son, only to learn of his/her death............words can NOT describe. I even thought about the mothers of the boys with guns, how they must have felt, and the pain they endured to see their child do such a terrible thing.
That night I was endless on voicing my concerns about having children. To me (then) it wasn't fair to bring a child into a world that we couldn't send them to school without fear for their safety and question their return. I know some of you are preaching highly of home school right now but that is a whole other issue. “To each his own”, homeschooling isn't for everyone and I am one that it isn't for, I am one that actually believes in our school system...as far as education is concerned. But that night my hubs finally agreed with me and together we vowed to never have kids. Obviously the Lord had a better idea because that following year I became pregnant with our first son. (For the record I WAS on birth-control and took it religiously!!)
Needless to say my fear of Columbine NEVER left my mind and the pain never left my heart. When it was time for our son to start school I started to panic. I drove to the school we were zoned for at the time only to turn around in the parking lot and go back home. I didn't like the location and for that my child was not going there! I began to research counties and individual schools, I even researched private schools and tuition. We found ourselves at a fork in the road; stay where we are and invest in a private school or move and allow our son to attend public schools......it was a tough decisions! We finally decided to move, only on one condition, we liked the schools our potential house was zoned for. If the schools weren't okay then the house was a NO.
When we found this house the school was in question. I fed mostly off hearsay and became frustrated because the "hear say" was divided. So I interviewed the elementary principal and I don't mean a sit down recorded interview, I mean several unannounced visits. I know I drove that office crazy the summer before he started school but I would not sign a contract on this house until I was FOR SURE about the schools he would attend. I became satisfied and we signed the contract.
The first day of kindergarten, when all the other mothers were shedding tears of their babies growing up so fast, my tears shed a little faster and fell a little harder. I was filled with paranoia but I put my trust in God and allowed him to take control. It wasn't until our son was in the first grade that the Lord showed me reassurance. That was a tough year for my family and at one point I feared for my son's safety. I had no choice but to confide into the principal of his school. As I embarrassingly poured my eyes out in her office sharing with her everything we were going through at home, I told her it was evident I had to pull my son out of school. She then sat next to me and insisted that I had no reason to lose sleep on whether or not my son was safe at her school. She then proceeded to share with me how in fact and what measures they can and will take to protect my child from whatever evil may enter those doors. From that day forward I no longer had fear of my son going to school, the paranoia had been lifted and the Lord gave me peace.
Our oldest is now in middle school but I have the same peace for him and now our middleman who is attending the same elementary school as he did. Even with the events that unfolded in Connecticut yesterday, I still am at peace about our children attending the school where we live. No I am not naive nor am I in denial, I know it could happen to us and I know we are not protected 24/7 from evil and the deranged. But I DO KNOW and I have no doubt that in the midst of a crisis they (their teachers) will step up and take my place as his mother and protect him as well as every student in their path. That is why Monday when I take our children to school I will drop them off with confidence, confident that the Lord is in control regardless and confident that I am trusting some amazing people with the life of my children.
Thanks for Reading,
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