Children Killed in Newtown School Shooting Nightmare Could Have Been Mine

Mom Moment 33

At least 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School children went to school this morning and now they are dead. Many others are injured or unaccounted for. It's a week before Christmas. How did a perfectly normal day suddenly turn upside-down? Just a few hours ago, I dropped my two kids off at elementary school with hugs and a smile, just like it was any other day of the week, happy in the comfort of knowing I'd be seeing them again in another six hours. I'm sure parents at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, just an hour's drive away, thought the same thing when they put their kids on the buses this morning, too. And now many of those parents are no longer wondering what movie they should rent for family pizza night but whether or not it's their child who was among those killed.

This is not just another news story to me that only shakes me up a little and makes me grateful "we don't live there." Because my family could very well live there. I grew up in the next town over. I worked in Newtown for many years, and have been to Sandy Hook School, one of the town's several elementary schools, many times. The school entrance and front hallway are clear as a bell to me still. This story hits incredibly, frightfully close to home for me -- literally. It could have been my kids' school.

More from The Stir: [UPDATED] Shooting Inside Elementary School in Newtown, CT Strikes Terror in Our Hearts (VIDEO)

My kids' current school could have been that school. My kids' school could be that school today ... tomorrow ... or the next day. Because in case you're wondering, Newtown, Connecticut is Anywhere, USA. It's a small, charming, mostly affluent and white New England suburb with a main street lined in historic houses that have graced the cover of many magazines and artists' tapestries. It's got a big flagpole in the center of town that people ram their cars into all the time.

The details are flying fast and furious, almost too fast to keep up. I know the police are trying not to alarm anybody, but this sounds bad, very, very bad.

As we all wait for more details, I go through all the scenarios in my head of how I'd find out about something like this if I'd been living in Newtown today. Perhaps I'd get a text message sent to the phone, like they do for snow days, or one of the other parents would call me. I'm sure the schools have a procedure for something like this, but heck if I ever bothered to find out what it was because "we don't live there."

So I would get the text or the call and stand speechless as the blood drains from my face and I struggle for air, trying to comprehend the meaning. Only to be told the school is on lock-down and police are still trying to "assess" the situation, so don't even bother to come down to the school to see if you kids are still alive. We'll let you know when we know.

Which would be followed by me driving to the school at 90 miles an hour to get the eff into that school and make sure my kids were okay.

I imagine this is what every single parent of a child who attends Sandy Hook School on Dickinson Drive is doing right now too -- storming the school demanding information and answers. I don't know what parent would be able to think calmly and rationally enough to stay home and sit by the phone in a time like this.

I'm having a hard time doing that right now and I don't even have any children in that school. Right now, my kids are in a different school, their school. They are probably finishing up lunch and getting ready to go to recess or music or art or math. They are talking with their friends and laughing, playing, and are perfectly happy and safe, because they are at school, isn't that right?

How are you handling the details of this story?


Image via ABC News/YouTube

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Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

The latest they are reporting on NBC is 18 children killed, 8 adults killed. How am I handling it? Not good. I'm fighting everything in me to go get all 4 of my kids out of school and hold them close. I won't because that would only end up causing them stress and fear but my heart breaks for the parents that lost their children and the students and faculty that experienced this horrible act.I' can't stop crying and I'm having an anxiety attack. That's how I'm handling the details. @Cynthia, I'm sorry that your community has been so hurt...

banan... banana-bear

I'm bawling. I fucking hate people!!!!

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

From what we've been getting so far... this was done by a father of one of the children. As my heart breaks for these families, and I cannot even begin to wrap my head around any of it- much less the idea that a father... A FATHER of one of the children, could be involved.

I home-school, so my children are here right now. With me. I've hugged them all, without trying to bring to much attention to anything. Children shouldn't have to know about or hear about situations like this... they should be innocent in this world. :-(


Blessings to all the families, and prayers to those who are so much in need right now.

Blues... Blueshark77

I feel so sick and sad and angry. It reinforces my decision to home-school. I know not everyone can or wants to do that, but that's the choice we're making.

raven... ravenstears

I don't want to send my daughter to public school anymore, I wish more than anything that my family would support my want to un-school and do extra enrichment classes for the more social aspect for my daughter. We're so bonded, she's only 4 and we finish each other's sentences and have never been apart for more than it takes for me to go watch a "grown up" movie with a friend at the theater once a year. Literally, that's it, and neither of us wants or needs a "break" We're so insink and content. The though of pushing her away and confidently telling her she's safe and going to have fun, then to have something like this happen, during the first year we are apart, it would be completely devastating...let alone picturing how terrified and betrayed she'd she'd freak out trying to get me to come....and if those were the last moments of her life...I cannot even think it!!!!

She would be in utter hystarics if something like this ever happend to her in kindergarten, as would I. I would never never have the heart to send her back to school unless she asked, which I doubt she would. I will not be able to stop thinking of those kids and families :(

fleur... fleurdelys3110

This is my good friend's town and was her elementary school. I was on the fence about gun control before, but this just seals the deal for me. Enough is enough. I can't believe people like this exist in the world.

nonmember avatar Theresa

27 people in total, with 18 being children have been killed. This is hard to process. The shooter was a 20 year old with "ties to the school" according to local media. It's unclear whether or not he was killed by police or by his own hand, but a man dressed in camouflage was taken into custody in the woods by the school. It isn't yet clear whether or not he was an accomplice. The only thing I can think about is how those parents felt going to that firehouse and getting the news that their child was killed. The thought of sending your child off to school for them to never return is the single most horrifying thought I can think of.

nonmember avatar lisa

I have a grandson that's one and a half years old...he is the absolute love of my life...I've been toying with the idea of homeschooling him for this very heart aches for this community...for the families of these babies and their classmates who are and will be traumatized for a long time if not the rest of their lives...what is wrong with people?...children are the most precious thing God gives us...

nonmember avatar NoWay

Please don't turn this into a gun control discussion ... it is not the time nor the place. A very disturbed individual committed a henious crime. Like Sarah, it is taking everything in me to not just go pick up my boys from school and just hug them and cry. There is no guarantee that I won't start to bawl my eyes out the moment I see them tonight, though. I will try very hard to control myself because they don't need to hear the horror of what happened today in a state a few hundred miles away. God Bless the families directly (and indirectly) affected by this tragedy.

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