The email from the middle school principal offered parents assurances that our local police department and school administrators have determined there is no credible threat against the middle school.
I read it twice and then sat with my 8th grader and had a conversation about it. She told me she already knew and showed me two group chats the students were having about it.
That didn’t surprise me nor was I particularly bothered by our children discussing it. They hear, read and talk about school shootings.
In my day we teased each other about what we do if Red Dawn actually happened. I remember promising to make Russian soldiers pay and that we would make them wish they had chosen to visit the beach and not our junior high.
I was serious but I never took it seriously.
Our kids look at the world differently.
June, It Was Just A Kiss
I once overheard a couple we’ll call Johnny and June debate whether their lip locking meant anything.
“June, it was just a kiss. Nothing more than that.”
June didn’t like that and she let him know in no uncertain terms that it didn’t please her.
I didn’t pay too much attention to the next thirty minutes of conversation because I was far too involved in responding to an email.
Upon coming back up for air I discovered the tables had turned and Johnny was trying to convince June that it was the greatest kiss he had ever been a part of.
It wasn’t clear to me whether June wasn’t having it because she was making him pay for upsetting her or if she just disagreed.
I couldn’t help myself and turned on some music for him and wondered if I could hire myself as his Cyrano.
Would he pay me good coin to write her a love letter that would open her heart and eyes?
More importantly, could I come up with the right combination of words that spelled out the longing, love and ache alongside of the confidence, courage and charisma that would be required?
That sort of thing is a challenge when you know someone intimately and even harder when you don’t.
Or maybe it is easier when you don’t and there is no baggage surrounding it. Maybe that is easier.
Or maybe that baggage can be reframed as experiences that provide scientific proof that you and him/her have had lots of good times together and time to have many more.
The Chair Is On Fire
My chair isn’t on fire but it might as well be ‘cuz my mind is flying at light speed. Been to multiple sites and read different reports about why this isn’t a credible threat.
Haven’t called the police but am thinking about it and wondering if they are going to tell me anything that will slow my mind a bit.
Funny thing about it is I would go to school and not think twice because it is me. I am very confident of my ability to take care of myself, but daughter is different.
Not because she isn’t capable of looking out for herself because she absolutely is. My baby girl isn’t a baby anymore.
She is smart, observant and has had the benefit of an older brother.
That might not mean something to you, but out on the soccer field the coaches and parents have noticed the players who are younger siblings tend to be tougher.
Sometimes those with older brothers are tougher yet because they have spent their lives playing with boys who have played pretty rough.
Or maybe that is just me trying to make myself feel a bit better…or maybe not.
Let the music keep playing while I think about what is best for my daughter and hope that things go smoothly as they usually do.
“Stay calm and keep your eyes/ears open. The police and school have looked into this so I am going to figure it is business as usual. But stay aware anyway.”
She smiles because she has heard this a million times before, but it feels different this time.
Not because I am truly afraid but because she is about to become a high school freshman and I know how fast time is going to start moving.
Won’t be that long before the girl really is on the verge of going to college and I’ll be almost middle aged.
We need a revolution in thinking before that happens.
I am uncertain about how fast or how slow it will take because I keep encountering people who aren’t just stupid, they are profoundly dumb and unclear as to how very wrong their politics and approach to life is.
That is not something I say easily or with glee.
Most of the time I am comfortable with live and let live but I am beginning to see many signs that laissez faire may be a nice theory and not in practice.
That is disconcerting, troubling and disappointing.
How To Tell If It’s A Credible Threat Against A School
I am not an expert and you’re not going to find five fool proof ways to know if the threat is credible or not.
What you have are fifteen minutes of off-the-top-of-my-head thinking.
That includes the obvious moves of contacting the school and police to get their input and to speak with our children because they don’t always share what they know.
And because they need to know some adults are doing more than providing useless thoughts and prayers as bullet/knife/bomb proof vests.
Statistically speaking most of us are going to be ok.
Most of us aren’t going to pull the joker from the deck, but you never know.