Open letter from a NJ dad who simply doesn’t know what to think anymore after TX school shooting
Our morning was one like any parent might have. The kids woke up, poured their cereal, and argued over whose bowl had more in it. Not to mention, who would get the bigger banana.
As the morning went on, my one son battled over what clothes to wear while the other wouldn't stop squeaking the dog toys and driving everyone nuts with the sound while we were all trying to get ready for the school day.
Once we started walking to school, we realized one of our sons forgot his glasses. So I jogged back to the house to get them, then jogged back so he can have them for the day.
As we got to the school, an uneasy feeling was shared among all the parents. Everything just seemed quieter and uneasy. Thankfully, the kids didn't seem to feel anything was amiss.
There was one big thing that was different from past mornings. An extra police presence added to that uneasy feeling many of us parents were feeling.
Even though this particular morning was uneventful for us, just thinking about how much that routine can change in an instant makes you appreciate those moments so much more.
Sadly, thanks to a cowardly act of violence, far too many parents aren't able to have those moments anymore with their children, and it breaks my heart.
There are simply no words to describe the pain we're all feeling from what happened earlier this week at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. How so much can change in seconds because of one person's heinous actions.
What makes it even more painful is how often we face this. As a parent of two elementary school kids, this scares the daylights out of me.
I want to believe my kids will be safe in school, just as much as I want all children to be safe while they're in a place of learning. But for many of us, that's getting harder and harder to do.
Right now as I write this, my one son is humming the Star Wars theme for like the thousandth time, while my other son is trying to build a guitar out of cardboard box pieces and duct tape. It doesn't sound like anything groundbreaking, but I'm very thankful they're safe and home after another school day.
My twin sons are six-and-a-half years old, and I couldn't fathom life without them. Sadly, far too many parents aren't able to experience all those little moments anymore, no matter how much tape is wasted on a project or how annoying the endless humming of a popular franchise may get.
And to be honest? I simply don't know what to think anymore. When are these senseless acts of violence finally going to end? Why, in the United States of America, must we keep returning to these heinous acts over and over again? And this one. This one hit home for so many of us with young children.
I can't even begin to fathom what the families are going through. How not knowing that morning routine, whether chaotic or not, would be the last time they'd ever hug and kiss their children. Just writing that sends chills down my spine.
And now, as what always seems to happen, the political finger-pointing has begun. You know what? Just stop it. Don't give us your thoughts and prayers, and don't even think of playing the blame game. Do something meaningful, do something bold, and do it now.
Far too many families are hurting just trying to process why another senseless massacre has occurred involving young children. I'm one of those parents and I honestly don't know what to think anymore.
My heart hurts for all the victims who had their lives dramatically cut short for no reason other than trying to live their life to their fullest.
Although it's hard not to feel helpless, there are ways we can give support even here from New Jersey. Our Texas colleague Tara Holley shares how you can help families that are suffering from this horrific tragedy (Click here).
Just know that it's ok to hurt, even from afar. That feeling of brokenness, helplessness, and confusion is shared among many of us, including myself.
Please hug your kids often as it will take time for us to heal from this unimaginable tragedy.