options.

I led the prayers of the people at my church Sunday morning and I shared with the congregation a recent conversation my children and I had. We were driving home from school last Friday and they were chattering on as they always do – what games they played in PE, the annoying thing that happened between friends, and, on this particular day, their active shooter drill.

This has been part of our lives for the last seven years when Sarah first entered kindergarten. This conversation is not new. It was raw when my kindergartner first talked with me about the hiding places her classroom would afford her should a “bad guy” enter her school. It was painfully raw the next year when a classroom full of first graders was killed in Sandy Hook and I looked into the eyes of my own 1st grader, knowing there were devastated parents states away who were left with nothing but memories. And it has continued to be raw every single time my mind wanders to the thought of my children cowering in classrooms, facing a reality we seem to have accepted as normal. But it’s not normal.

Last Friday’s active shooter drill conversation centered around the idea of where the 6th graders would hide should they be in a particular area of the school where there is no good place to hide. Sarah, with little fear or reservation in her voice said very matter-of-factly, “I’ve decided that if I can just get out the front door I’ll run home as fast as I can because we live close. At least I’ll have options.”

At least I’ll have options.

NO. I refuse to accept that my 10 and 12 year old consider their “options” to be dashing out the front door and running breathlessly home while an armed intruder kills their teachers and classmates. That is, if they’re lucky enough to even survive. HELL. NO.

We are a country of smart, kind, thoughtful, engaged, creative and driven citizens. We have conquered flight. And space flight. We have dreamed up the internet. We create movies and music that are envied the world over. We write beautiful books and educate our citizens and build roads and bridges and towers that reach beyond the clouds. Don’t tell me we can’t fix this.

We are clever. We can fix this.

We just have to want to. And we have to demand it of our elected representatives.

On Thursday my children and I will load up and start the long drive to Washington D.C. with friends and prayers in tow to participate in the student-led March for Our Lives. I am determined to be part of the solution, not content with the “options” my children have resigned themselves to as they sit in their classrooms, waiting to be next.

 

 

 

ellen pattonMarch 21, 2018 - 9:32 am

March for me on Saturday! Good for you — you are making a difference.

JenniferMarch 21, 2018 - 11:58 am

I’ll be at one of the sister marches here in Michigan, photographing as much of the event as I can while my friends and their children wave signs. There are solutions, and we will find them.

Peggy McMichaelMarch 23, 2018 - 1:28 pm

Thank you, Erin, Sarah and Ephraim, friends and fellow Resisters! We will be marching in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan and are so grateful for the work you and so many of us who have had MORE THAN ENOUGH of preventable gun violence here in America. Two of our signs: “Melt Down ALL the Guns”, and “There is NO well-regulated militia in America”.

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