I'm having a major struggle in my heart every morning. When my son has a mini-fit because I want him to stop wrestling with the dog and get upstairs and brush those teeth. When my daughters don't come downstairs until 5 minutes before we need to leave. When we're rushing out the door, late AGAIN. The whole time, I'm thinking, "Is this their last memory? Me fussing at them and getting annoyed? What if they die today, alone, scared and bleeding and the last memory they have of me is rolling my eyes because they can't find their shoes?"
I'm dropping them off and trying to remember their faces, just that way, in just that moment. I'm whispering "Please don't die today" as I drive off.
We're researching moving to another COUNTRY, for fuck's sake, just so I can take them to school without having a panic attack every morning.
And the worst part? The most horrible, horrible part? I know for a fact that in a few weeks, it'll be better. Oh, don't get me wrong, it won't be perfect. I won't feel safe for them, but the cutting reality of it will fade. I'll go back to just rolling my eyes and digging for shoes. I'll feel that moment of relief when they hop out of the car so I can go and get my coffee and start my day. The fear will fade. Until the next time.
A lot of people were annoyed about the way the news was tossing around the number 18 for school shootings this year. I saw an opinion piece about that number being open to serious interpretation. One comment stood out to me. It said it was important to remember it was really just the one time this year, that most of the other "18" didn't qualify as a real event.
Just the one.
I responded simply, "Kentucky high school shooting. Three weeks ago." Her response? "Sorry, I missed that one, but still, not 18."
She missed that one. The death toll was only 2, after all. The injured are all going to survive, basically. It's not 18. We're debating what level of gun activity qualifies as worthy of notice. I was so angry. I wanted to write back some scathing retort, but I couldn't talk because guess what? I'd had to google the shooting, to make sure I was remembering it correctly. I had already forgotten, too.
I can't decide what's worse. Feeling this constant ache every morning that I will never see them again, or slowly feeling better because I've already started to forget.