Today as I was driving the girls to school (something I rarely do unless I have an early errand to run or we are running late) we noticed the vice principal hanging out on the corner with the 5th grade safety patroles. The girls pointed him out and we all went, "Hmm".
Another block (we only live about 3 blocks away) we noticed another school employee, the PE teacher, then still closer we saw the school janitor on the black top area.
"Look Mom!" said the girls.
"Oh Dear God" said my head filled with fear.
In a matter of seconds I registered this piece of information in two ways.
1) My mouth said, "Oh they are probably just coming out to check on things once in a while now."
2) My brain was thinking, "What happened? Did a child get abducted? Did someone call in a threat? OMG It's a FRIDAY! Was there another school shooting? Are-they-looking-for-someone-is-everyone-ok-are-why-hasn't-anyone-called-me-I-didn't-get-an-Amber-alert-text-WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AND WHY HASN'T ANYONE TOLD ME!!!"
I dropped the girls off and drove straight to the intersection where we usually cross and stopped literally in the middle, rolled down the window and asked our trusty crossing guard, "OK. Give it to me. What is going on?"
"Oh nothing. There was a little incident with an elderly couple and a dog. Everyone is fine. Everyone is ok.
But the look she gave me, we BOTH knew what I had been thinking. She could smell the fear on me.
I drove away shaking and I burst into tears the way you do when the adrenalin rush is over after an accident. Because while I don't live in Newtown, I did grow up one town over.
Even more than that, I am a parent of elementary age kids. Every weekday I walk them, or let them walk themselves, and I have to trust that the most awful, horrid, terrible things that can possibly happen in this world will not happen to them. At least not today.
I wonder when the families in Newtown will feel like things are normal again?
When will any of us?
Or will we ever?