September is here. For moms around the world, this means school is about to start. I am busy getting my kids ready for school and will be back in a few days. It’s that sweet moment when 2 of her 3 kids think she’s not home all day. I’m packing my backpack, labeling all my items, and trying to figure out what I can pack for lunch. If there’s one thing I haven’t considered, it’s the idea that they’ll be attacked at school.
I’m not buying them bulletproof rucksacks, I’m not thinking about strangers coming to school and shooting, and I’m not worried about not seeing them at the end of the day. I’m Canadian so I’m not thinking of all these things.
I’m not saying we don’t have worries or crime (even gun violence), but school shootings aren’t something that’s on our radar.
In all my years of schooling and having children, I can recall one somewhat similar “incident.” I was in high school and there was a lockdown going on and there were reports that students had gun boxes on the school roof. It turned out to contain a prank from a student in desperate need of mental health support.
It’s not happening here as much as it is in the US. I could spend time talking about gun control or my opinion on US politics, but I’m not going to.
I want to talk about things that I can relate to American moms, but I also can’t wrap my head around how they get their kids to school every day.
My thinking follows the same predictable pattern that others do. You hear about a school shooting, time passes, you forget it, and another one happens. The whole cycle starts all over again, but the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas really moved me and scared me.
When you have to drop your kids off at school and worry about not seeing them at the end of the day. When I thought that, my heart felt heavy, and I realized that I was blessed.
I didn’t even realize I had this privilege until recently. Knowing that I can send my children to school and see them again is a privilege and I don’t take it lightly. No need to worry about buying a bulletproof backpack. I am annoyed that they need to exist.
I recently came across a viral video of a mother talking about what her son needs to do if someone at school has a gun. I can’t imagine having to have this conversation with a child . We always tell them what to do if they’re faced with peer pressure or bullying, but we never tell them what to do when they hear gunshots in the classroom across the hall. I can’t imagine that conversation.
I also realized how important teachers are in a child’s life. Shortly after Uvalde happened, she broke down in tears in front of her daughter’s kindergarten teacher. The shooting made me think about what would have happened if I had been in that situation.My child’s teacher, like many, throws himself in front of his students to save their lives. This is how important teachers are in our lives and how they are often taken for granted.
As this school year begins, I can still send my children to school in peace, but my heart is with all the moms who still don’t feel this way. Fear that every day you send your child to school, you will receive a call that something has happened. I don’t know the solution, I don’t know the answer, or I don’t know what I can do to change this (other than the obvious), so to other mothers Canadian mothers have your back. We feel your pain and understand your struggles.