Monday, February 27, 2012

A few days ago, I told you about the article my friend Chad sent me, and being the dutiful followers that you are (THAT sounds like I am leading some crazy cult or something. Hmmmm...) you READ said article as well. DIDN'T you? Well, NOW is your chance. Go ahead. Thanks to my dear friend, Amber, I do not have to type out the entire address for you anymore. NOW I can simply highlight a word and it will bring you RIGHT to the link. BRILLIANT, I tell you!

So, now that I gave you a laugh (if you didn't read it, you must carry on without any laughter. Sorry. I TOLD you to keep up with the class...), I am going to wallow. You see, I loved that article and was even laughing so hard that I cried while reading it. I even WROTE about it--you can read THAT now if you didn't do so yet. Wow--you are REALLY slacking this semester. It's a good thing I'm patient. Actually, I'm not so much PATIENT as I am DESPERATE...for readers. Okay, now that you have read both articles, you are caught up with the rest of the class.

So the general theme (wow--it really IS like class!) of the articles is the fact that parents today are much more overprotective of their children, so much so, that it can be comical. As I was working out (much less begrudgingly than usual it would seem--THAT is a good thing!) this morning, Brooke Baldwin (I think that is who it was...don't quote me!) interrupted Rachel Ray's Bloddy Mary burgers with breaking news out of Ohio. Before I continue, I should give you a more accurate account of what happened. I was elliptical? A bike on crack? I'm not sure WHAT that particular machine is called, but I was on it, perfectly content, watching Rachel Ray tell me what's for dinner tonight, when I saw something shiny on the other two televisions (I think we know that when I see something shiny, it's all over--you've lost me for good. Well, in this instance, the something "shiny" was Brooke Baldwin (is that her REAL name? It really seems to flow off of the tongue smoothly. Brooke Baldwin. Brooke Baldwin. Brooke. Baldwin. BrookeBaldwin. BrookeBaldwinBrookeBaldwinBrookeBaldwinBrookeBaldwin. Her name has lost all meaning).

If you didn't hear yet, I am sorry to be the one "reporting" on this and I recommend that you stop reading now and go to someone credible, like Papa Smurf or something. That is not to indicate that a tiny blue cartoon character IS credible, it is only to indicate that I am NOT. Credible. When it comes to things like THIS I mean.

Anyway, BB(I need to call her this now. You understand.) reported that four students were injured  in a high school shooting near Cleveland early this morning. They flashed to a press conference that was being held  (through my sobbing--it's okay--it blended in with the sweat, so no one knew and I am pretty sure that anyone who DID know (perhaps they HEARD the weird sound that my sobbing made)that I was sobbing attributed it to the fact that I was exercising and VERY unhappy about it) where all of these "reporters" (you KNOW how I feel about the "NEWS") were shoving microphones into the faces of the officers on site and then made up their own answers.

Reporter: "So four people were shot?"
Police Guy: "Well, it is really too soon to give you that information yet..."
Bottom of screen: 4 people injured in high school shooting in Cleveland
Reporter #2: "So can you tell me about the four people who were shot?"
Police Guy: No..".I can't give you any specifics because we just got here and have to gather evidence first."
Reporter #3: "Of the four people who were shot, how many were boys?"
Two Police Guys: "No--we don't know how many..."PG#1:" I know there was one girl...maybe four boys..."
Reporter " 1 (again) "Of the four people shot, were any of them teachers?"
PG #1: "No--not that we know of--I really cannot answer that right now or give you numbers yet. We WILL inform you when we know more."
Bottom of the screen: FIVE people injured in high school shooting in Cleveland

I believe I need to save my annoyance with the "reporters" for another day as my time is going to be consumed with the atrocity that went on in Cleveland this morning. The thing is, we live in a world where these things happen. We live in a time where we don't even think "IF..." anymore; now we think "When..."
We start to feel safe and send our babies to school in the morning and possibly have a fleeting thought that there haven't been any school shootings in the news as of late and hear news from Cleveland. Or Virginia Tech. Or even little Lancaster, PA.

Why do we make our children wear helmets and buckle up and stay in boosters until they are nine? Okay...those of you who thought, "...because it's the law...?" can bite me. We are overprotective because we CAN be. Those are things that we can a world where uncontrollable things happen. Where children who quite possibly  DO NOT have parents controlling them hurt and kill OUR children. A world where snipers threaten our very existence and make us zig zag to our cars and buses WITHOUT car seats and seatbelts get in accidents. A world where innocent children are sacrificed in minutes because of the hurt and pain one disturbed individual is feeling.

We relinquish so much simply by putting our children on their buses each morning and hoping they will return to us happy and in one piece each afternoon. If I could place them in a bubble and only let them out for monitored visits, perhaps then I would rest easier. Though I would worry about the bubble bursting, are they getting enough air? Do they have enough intellectual stimulation...? I guess I can't win.

Regardless, I WILL worry and wonder and hope and pray that my children are safe to be...children. I will pray that my children are safe--at home AND at school and I will pray for those people who have had those horrific experiences. I remember when I taught and lived in Northern Virginia when the sniper was on the loose and I do not know WHAT I would have done if I had my OWN children at that time. Just feeling somewhat safe again after the horror of 9/11,  I watched my students suffer through weeks of fear. Dances were cancelled, football games weren't played, all after school activities were nonexistent. The students who rode buses were afraid of getting shot on the bus; the students who drove were reminded to run and zig zag in the parking lot and to go directly home. I felt helpless because I couldn't make life better for them. I couldn't ease their minds, because I was terrified as well--terrified that one of my students or someone I loved would be the next victim.

Several of my students from that time went on to study at Virginia Tech and had to experience the nightmare there as well. My heart breaks for them every time I think of all the pain they have had to witness and endure. Some of the strongest people I know are those I taught during those scary years--that which does not kill us makes us stronger, right? Now I think of my own children. Do I want them to be strong? Of course I do, but I don't want them to be forced to be strong because of horrific events in their lives. I think of those who have gone through all of this and wonder just how protective THEY will be with THEIR children? When you see how evil the world can be, isn't it natural to want to protect your children from it?

Watching the parents lining up outside of Chardon high school, I felt so sick. Sick for the people who were wondering about their children. Sick for the people who KNEW about their children. And sick for the fact that we live in a world where ANY of this needs to be discussed. Hug your kids extra hard today and send prayers, good thoughts...whatever you have to the families in Ohio and the other families who relive their own tragedies every time something like this happens.


  1. The news of another shooting is terrible :( I think as a mommy we will always worry about our babies no matter what.

    On a good note, The Brook Baldwin part made me laugh :)

    1. Clarissa, that IS good news--that I made you laugh, that is! And it is so true that we will always worry. I guess that's what we signed up for when we decided to do this whole "Mommy" thing!

  2. Such a senseless tragedy. I was just passing by TV when the news broke out. I can't even imagine being a parent at that school...that just show us that in life you never know and as parents we will always worry, but we need to have faith.
    My 9 year old son was hit by a speeding car three weeks ago waiting for his schoolbus. The driver failed to stop for the schoolbus with STOP sign and flashing lights. By miracle he survived, but from now on I will worry even more.

    1. Oh my goodness--I am so very sorry! How AWFUL for your family and I cannot BELIEVE the person didn't stop. I hope he is doing well now and that you are able to work through and overcome the fear that you must have now. I don't even know what to say because words won't help, I know, but I will definitely keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know about your son and his progress if you don't mind sharing...

  3. I am a paranoid person to begin with and since having kids it has doubled, tripled, possibly quadrupled. I'll only admit to the doubled though. Moving to an area with low crime rate, family friendly & all that jazz was very high on my priority list and while yes those factors might help reality is you will never truly know 100% that this will never happen. It's a sad reality but unfortunately one we have to live in. The best thing to do is live every day filled with love and laughter and not let fear rule you. Apply that same love & laughter rule to your children & hope they never have to endure moments such as the one's the kids in Ohio have today.

    1. You are so right--about EVERYTHING! It's funny--my kids had a great day and were a lot less obnoxious today for some reason. It couldn't be ME, could it?! ;o)

  4. Although I am not a parent, I observe a lot. And I feel that if you give your children space to think, be creative, and free, they will do well.

    Overprotectiveness comes with the terroritory of being a parent. The FEAR of something bad happening to said child takes over before anything else. However, as parents, there's only so much control. In the meantime, just enjoy the moments you do have and laugh when they make you laugh and be hard on them when they need it too. It's your given right =)

    1. Well said, Jamie! As for my "right, " I had to laugh because this morning my son questioned the whole "rights" thing after he was being obnoxious and I told him to get ready for school in his room and to stay there until I say it is time to go. Okay...maybe I didn't just TELL him to do that, but you get the point. HIS response? "No."
      I'm sorry, NO? NOOOOO?! My reply, "Oh--you don't GET to tell me NO!" Him? "Well, if YOU get to tell ME no, then I should be able to tell YOU no!"
      Yes, he is still walking around and healthy--even AFTER his response.
      Me: "Sorry--THAT is not what is in the contract. YOU need to listen to ME--" and I THINK we ALL know what I said next--"...because I am the PARENT!"
      "Well then I guess this isn't a FREE world!" says he as he slams his door. *SIGH*
      *Evil laugh--"Mwuuuahahahahaha--NOT while you are in THIS house, BUDDY!"
      It never ceases to amaze me how much comes out of ALL of our mouths that was scripted for parents and children centuries ago! So much for thinking that WE are different...

  5. This is why I cannot watch the news, ever. sometimes it's so bad i don't want to even log on to Gmail, because of what shows up in the margins!

    Yes, a bubble. That would be nice.

    1. I agree--I didn't even THINK about putting MYSELF in a bubble...INTERESTING...


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