Today I sent my baby to school with apprehension and an extra prayer for her safety. This world in which we live feels so unbalanced to me. I work really hard to be positive, believe all is well and put goodness out into the world. However, there are days when the world and its problems feel heavy. There are days I want to keep those I love safe and isolated here on my farm. There are days when I find myself in the grip of fear.
Today, I had a conversation with my girl about safety at school. I asked her if she had a plan should the unthinkable happen at her small school. Initially, she blew me off. She then watched the news, and suddenly she took my questions very seriously. We talked about school practices and policies. We talked about mental health and the importance of telling someone should she hear anything that sounds threatening. We also spoke about being aware of her surroundings and social media posts and not holding back if she feels something is off. These are not conversations I should have to have with my child.
I should not have to worry about sending my girl to school. I shouldn’t have to worry about her safety in a place that is supposed to be a sanctuary of learning and childhood. No parent should have to worry about such things. However, in the world we live in, these are real concerns. This is our reality and the reality for our children. I don’t have any real answers. I have opinions, ideas, and feelings but no real answers. My baby asked me if I thought she needed to be worried about her school. Dear reader, I didn’t have an answer for her. I’m sure the families where these horrendous acts of violence have occurred never believed it would happen to them, their children, and their community. Instead, I told her to be kind to everyone. I told her to listen for subtle cries for help, pay attention to rumors, and be aware of her surroundings. I told her not to live in fear but be proactive. I told her to pray for those families whose worlds have imploded.
I beg you, dear reader, be kind. If you are so inclined, send healing vibes to the families who are experiencing such crippling loss. Hold those difficult conversations with those you love. Pay attention to small signs, and reach out to those who could be struggling. If there are red flags, don’t ignore them. Hold your loved ones a little closer today. As we fly our flags at half-staff, send love and healing to those who need it. Kindness will win, goodness will prevail, love will conquer, and a bit of care will counteract this unbalance. As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, be kind and aware, and keep washing your hands.