Sandy Hook Tragedy Takes Toll on Our Daily School Routine

Mom Moment 13

school busBefore I went to bed last night, I knew today would be hard. But after waking up and starting my normal morning school routine with my son, "hard" doesn't even begin to explain how my day went from the moment I got out of bed until the exact second I saw the sweetest sight my eyes have ever seen -- the school bus pulling up in front of my house at 3:45.

And I know I'm not alone. After the disgusting act of total disregard for human life that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, the simple task of getting our kids ready for school in the morning, putting them on the bus or dropping them off, and waiting for them to come home in the afternoon will never, EVER be simple again.

Our daily routine has become the furthest thing from simple, and now it's really nothing short of a terrifying, nauseating, (insert whatever emotion you happen to be feeling here), total state of helplessness.

Here's a rundown of how my day went -- I know you can relate.

6:45 a.m. -- Rolled out of bed, got dressed while my little dude sat happily in my room playing with my cellphone, picked out his clothes for the day, headed downstairs, went to open the December 17 spot on his advent calendar, then sat down on the couch next to him and felt the waves of panic starting to set in. Kissed and hugged him and told him how much I love him and tried not to cry.

7:15 a.m. -- Got him a bowl of cereal, and this time, when he asked if he could eat it in front of the TV, I happily obliged. (Felt like an ass for ever worrying about having milk spilled on the throw rug in my living room.)

7:30 a.m. -- Looked at the school lunch menu and asked him whether he wanted to buy popcorn chicken or have me fix him a sandwich. He wasn't sure, and asked if he could have both a sandwich and lunch money. I didn't hesitate for one second to honor his request -- but then as I fixed his sandwich and put the lunch money into an envelope, I started thinking about the 20 children who didn't make it to the lunchroom on Friday. Then I started thinking about their mothers packing their lunches that morning, only to lose their precious babies a mere two hours later. Went over to my son, hugged and kissed him and told him how much I love him, and tried not to cry (and failed).

8:00 a.m. -- Started getting my little man dressed for school, and couldn't stop the tears from flowing because I knew I only had about 15 minutes left to go out to the bus stop. I kept thinking about the mothers who got their kids dressed that morning during the last few minutes of their routine -- and it was the last time they'd ever do it. Hugged and kissed him some more, reminded him how much I loved him, and then tried to reassure him that there was nothing to be afraid of after he asked me why I was crying.

8:15 a.m. -- Took his little hand in mine and walked out to the bus stop, and waited with him there until the boys across the street came out to stand with him. Went back over to my driveway and watched as they laughed, talked, and acted like they do every other day of the week. Smiled a little, but then felt guilty.

8:35 a.m. -- The bus finally pulled up -- it was late because the driver was a sub. Blew my baby kisses and told him to have a good day, then watched it drive away, came back into my house, and cried again.

9:30 a.m. -- Immediately stopped what I was doing because I was unable to think about anything other than what happened at Sandy Hook at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

10:00 a.m. -- The phone rang, and my heart immediately sank into my stomach. For the first time in my life, I was happy to see a telemarketer's number on my caller ID. Breathed a small sigh of relief.

10:04 a.m. -- Learned that another school district in Connecticut was under lock-down because of a suspicious person who may be carrying a rifle. Resisted the urge to rush over and pick up my son immediately. Cried again.

10:05 a.m. - 3:25 p.m. -- Did my best to concentrate on work, which was next to impossible at times. (Please excuse any typos in my articles today.) Fought the sickening feeling in my gut all day long.

3:30 p.m. -- Heard the bus that drops off the intermediate school kids go by. Heart started racing because I knew I only had 15 minutes of agony left before my angel was back in my arms.

3:45 p.m. -- My son is home. And now maybe I can start to breathe again.

(Until tomorrow morning, of course.)

What kinds of emotions did you go through today?

 

Image via lori05871/Flickr

elementary school, guns, education

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nonmember avatar Gretta

Yes that. Exactly that.

nonmember avatar Mae

Thank you so much for this article--I have been in a heightened state of anxiety all day. Hugged & kissed my children about 100 times this morning and pulled them back in the truck for 2 more before I let them go into school, then drove away sobbing, and have been holding my breath until I knew they were safe at after-school care (yes, I called and checked on them). Also been having tears running down my face all day....I'm surprised I'm having such a tough time with this and it's hard for me to admit it, but I am struggling with this in a very real, visceral, physical way.

I'm also afraid of copycats and other situations this week (I know the world isn't going to end on Friday), but LOTS of people do believe that, and I'm scared of what actions they make take to "save" people or just to cause as much mayhem and pain as they can, esp if it's the "end of the world" and they won't have to pay for their crimes.

I have no idea what the parents and families are going through and I will pray for them and for peace as long as I have breath in me.

Thank you, writer, for giving me an outlet to express my feelings of fright, angst, unease, etc., It helps to know other parents are feeling much the same way I do. Thank you.

mampa... mampanda0422

i really had a tough day. specially after gettting a call from my sons teacher that scared the shit out of me! but all is fine.. i am just paranoid! :( 

Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

Your day and feelings  pretty much sumup my day exactly, except for a few small details.When I dropped them off this morning I couldn't take my eyes off of them until they stepped through the doors and even then I just wanted to run after them and bring them back home where I know they'd be safe.Now they're home safe with me after a good day at school and I can relax but I am so tense my muscles ache from they anxiety. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.Though I doubt it. At least I have another day with my babes,which I am so very thankful for,whereas some parents are not so lucky.It's my heart that aches for them....

c_gal... c_galvan87

Good to know I wasnt the only one.

nonmember avatar Erin

I suppressed tears all weekend but woke up too sad not to cry. I cried when I left my kids, cried while driving to work and then cried when I entered the school at which I teach, just imagining the horror that took place in sandy hook. I find myself thinking how much I love every detail of my kids' actions and words. I feel sick for the parents that have been robbed of their babies and all their sweet actions and words.

Thank you for writing an article that speaks to what we all felt today! Xxx

tuffy... tuffymama

Two friends on Friday and three today asked me for information on homeschooling. I sent them everything I have. I am pretty confident that two of those people are about to withdraw their kids from school this week, and the other one, a father of three who works from home, withdrew his kids today. I cannot imagine sending my kid to school after this, and I'm so grateful I can homeschool. Defenseless children, trapped in a box, with no armed teacher or real security or anything to protect them, is a recipe for disaster. Add the lax care that the mentally ill receive in this country, and it's an open invitation for tragedy.

Vegeta Vegeta

That's way overdramatic. Your going to get sick worrying excessively and weird your kids out by acting over emotional and giving them more privileges JUST because something bad happened to someone else somewhere. Kids inthe Gaza area have been and are currently being murdered up and down but nobody writes articles about them. Wake up

tuffy... tuffymama

Plenty of articles are written about those people dying in the region of the Gaza Strip, Vege. Those kids are not the author's kids. She may be a little overwrought, sure, but she is hardly histrionic and different hearts deal with pain and anxiety differently. This tragedy hit some people harder and closer to home.

RMT1995 RMT1995

Mothers everywhere felt just as you did. I was so happy when I saw we had a snow delay this morning and I got another hour with my daughter. My husband was working last night so I let her sleep in my bed with me and just hugged her while catching up in the president's visit to Newtown.

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