I’m practically ready to turn off the news permanently lately. There have been so many shootings, both at schools and on city streets, that it makes me edgy. Horrible things keep happening and in the middle of it all there is the gun-debate. Even more importantly (at least to me) N. Korea is boasting about attacks against us. The world is currently a shitty place, but unfortunately for us, I believe it’s only slightly more shitty than it used to be. We just happen to have the internet and such so we are aware of almost everything.
Am I scared? For myself? Kind of. For my child? As a parent? Oh HELL yes. The year before last, the local PD closed down the road right outside of my daughters school looking for an armed fugitive. I’ve had those panic stricken thoughts and anxiety. Each and every single time a new news story hits the networks, I cringe and hope, no PRAY that it’s not anywhere close to my munchkin. So far each and every time I hear of something horrible that happens, I sigh in relief that my child is safe, then I feel horrible to those parents out there who just lost a child.
However, this is our world. Our country. Despite all the horrible shit that is going on, we still aren’t as bad as some countries are right now. Because shootings are rampant (or at least seem rampant) doesn’t mean we should try and shelter our children from everything. I understand that it’s scary, I do, but keeping our children out of school or away from after school activities, sleep overs ect does nothing but keep them from what makes life worth it. I’m right there with you, I don’t let ANYONE I don’t know around my daughter, and I keep up on what happens at her school and the schools she will be going to. She isn’t allowed on sleep-overs unless I personally know and trust the other set of parents, and I willingly meet other parents so they feel comfortable letting me watch over their little ones.
In order to survive letting our kids out into the world, we have to trust in other people and we have to have faith and hope nothing happens. To keep our kids from living or even thriving is wrong, instead we should be letting them enjoy their world yet teaching them how to be safe. Stranger danger, inappropriate touching, and what to do if (god-forbid) something happens at their school. We have to be prepared but I honestly do believe that sheltering our kids to an extreme point is more harmful than anything.
More importantly, what’s going on isn’t really about us. It’s about our children’s safety. We all know it’s hard, and we all know each other is scared. It’s not about us. What has me irritated today, is that a fellow mom I know has been weeping on facebook about how she doesn’t want to let her kids out of the house, she doesn’t let them play outside or on play dates, she’s thinking of switching to home school (more power to home-schoolers, I have no problem with it, but if the motivation is only to save yourself anxiety then you might want to re-evaluate). It scares me, and it irritates me. It’s become less about her children’s safety and quality of life and more about how hard it is on HER. The support we all have given her in choices in schools, helpful babysitters and recommendations for her kid’s sports in environments the rest of us trust have gotten us no where but ridicule. We’re the horrible ones for wanting our children to continue on in their schedules and lives. We’re the horrible moms and dads who trust *gasp* strangers (public schools/private schools) with our children’s safety. It’s become all about her. The tragedies of late have turned into an online whinefest about how uncomfortable *she* is.
I get it. Like I said, I do. However, after a couple of weeks it seems more selfish than for her children. So this is my plea to the public, to the other moms and dads out there. We live in a world where there ARE bad people. Instead of running from the horrible things we can’t seem to prevent (even though we try), we should try to make life more safer. We should educate our children, we should make wise choices. We should do our best to make the world better instead of more lonely. Just my thoughts, I apologize if I upset anyone, but the state of everything our instincts to hide our children from the world make it hard. I think we can do better.