I was a nerd. Not like a nerdy-nerd, but I loved school. I'm referring to elementary school mostly - high school and I weren't really friends. But I can still feel what it felt like to look forward to "new" every year, new backpack and lunchbox, new pencils, new things to learn, new pages to unfold. New came in September, not in January like it does for the adult world. And after the unbearably hot late summer that Southern California always suffers passed, the brisk, bright leaf-filled days of fall would come, Halloween songs would be sung, Thanksgiving hand-print turkeys made, and finally cotton-ball Santas would be produced. I still remember the feeling of leaves crunching under my feet, fall art projects in my backpack, school bake sales taking place. I feel bright and happy, full of life....and safe.
I don't know what to do with what happened yesterday. Honestly, tragic news happenings happen everyday and they don't usually affect me. I'm honestly not the most sympathetic person in the world, it's just how I am. It's not desensitization, it's just that I know shitty things happen to people all the time. But this, this hit me. Ever since I got pregnant with Jack, the one thing I have most looked forward to is him starting school. It keeps me going these days, knowing how badly I want to see him on his first day, experience the things that he will learn, new discoveries. I want him to have bake sales, friends, songs, phonics, spelling, new backpacks and lunchboxes, proliferating art projects. I want him to be safe.
I can't say where I stand. I grew up in a family of hunters, I'm two generations removed from a farming family. I grew up with guns in the house, and God-forbid, they were kept in unlocked closets and dresser drawers that I can't remember ever not knowing about. I just always knew never to touch them. My husband and I were both in the military, schooled in weaponry, we do keep guns in the house, however they are in a locked safe. We both enjoy shooting as a hobby and as a means of protection. We are both safe, legal weapon owners. Would I give up my guns to bring back those kids or to keep Jack and Amelia safe forever? Dear God, in a heartbeat. I am so very sad. I'm trying so hard to keep myself alive, it never dawned on me I would have to think about keeping my babies alive doing something so ordinary. They deserve to have crunchy leaf memories.