school shooting - Boston Moms Blog

The alarm goes off, and I wake up to start my normal routine. 

Make the kids breakfast. Did they have enough to eat? Pack lunches. One of them likes apple juice, the other likes chocolate milk. One will cry if I forget to write her a “special note” in her lunch bag. Include all the healthy stuff, toss in an orange for good measure. Have to protect them from getting sick.

Check the weather and help get them dressed. Throw gloves in coat pockets and hats in backpacks. Have to keep them warm if they go outside at recess.

Load the kids in the car. Help buckle their still tiny but growing bodies securely into their seats. Is it time to change these carseats? Need to make sure they are safe if we get in an accident.

School drop-off time. Hugs, kisses, and, “Have a good day. I love you.”

Anxiety sets in.

I find myself whispering, “Please, God, protect them at school today.”

Every morning I prepare for dozens of scenarios that could occur during my daughter’s school day. But today all I have is a whisper and a prayer.

It’s been just over a week since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This is yet another tragic event that has raised my already-heightened anxiety about the safety of our children. As a mom, I grieve for the innocent young lives lost, and I try to empathize with a parent’s pain that I truly cannot imagine. As someone who works in a school, I applaud the efforts of the first responders, students, parents, and faculty in Parkland who are standing up for student safety. 

I don’t have any kind of authority to write on this subject, and I don’t consider myself political. I’m just a mom who wants to keep our kids safe.

My motive is that I am a mother. 

It makes me think of all the ironies of this parenting life. We make sure they eat healthy foods and get exercise. We take them to doctor’s appointments and nurse them back to health when they are sick. We read bedtime stories and kiss foreheads in the dark after they fall asleep. We do endless research on safety, from cribs to carseats, and will pray the day they get their own driver’s licenses. We know we can’t protect them from every potential accident or illness, but we try. We try with everything we have, and we do whatever it takes.

But we can’t protect them from being killed at school.

We research the best schools and childcare and call references of babysitters. We check labels and limit screen time and read articles on how to raise happy kids and prevent bullying. We carefully apply sunscreen to protect them from burns. We buy them helmets when we teach them to ride bikes, applying band-aids and wiping away tears when they fall. They get bigger and their problems get bigger, but our purpose stays the same — to protect them from any harm that comes their way.

But we can’t protect them from being killed at school.

But we will try. Just like we try to protect them from everything else that’s out of our control. We can do better. We HAVE to do better. Let’s keep talking about gun safety and mental health after this tragic event leaves the headlines. Keep calling representatives and making sure there are action plans in our schools. This can’t be solved in a day or week — but what can we, as parents, do today and tomorrow to make a better next month and a safer next year? 

Our children are counting on us.

To voice your concerns about mental health and gun violence, contact your local representatives. Find out how you can join other moms through Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Megan is a mom of two daughters (2012, 2014) and lives with her family in Stoneham, MA. Her interest in writing began as a child and developed throughout her study of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University, where she graduated in 2003. Megan's love for New England began in 2006 when she moved from her hometown of Syracuse, NY to pursue her masters degree in Marketing Communications at Emerson College. Boston holds a special place in her heart as the city where she met and married her husband, started a family and has planted roots. In her professional career, Megan focuses on positive youth development, community outreach and mental health awareness. Loves: Family, friends, dogs, being a mom of girls, reading, Netflix, holidays, the ocean, fall in New England. Could do Without: Winter, snow (besides at Christmas), being late, traffic.