The Shooting in Chardon

Today my husband and I took our oldest son and registered him for kindergarten next year.

This morning, in a community that neighbors ours, a 17 year old student shot 5 classmates.

I have a hard time typing this right now.  Chardon, Ohio is a great community.  They have an old fashioned square I've visited and walked around more times than I can count.  There's an antique store right there on the square I've bought small items from so many times.  My Mom and I are simply not able to visit the quaint little tearoom there without going to that anitque store, too.  As you drive through Chardon sprawling century homes, perfectly groomed and maintained are visible everywhere.  It screams small town, family life.  I have a friend who said her parents rarely even lock their doors.  Our school system competes with theirs in sports.

But today, there was a shooting.  So far one vicitim has died.  Two others are in critical condition, one in serious, one in stable condition. 

In my family I have 5 relatives starting various high schools next year.  My oldest enters school in kindergarten next year.  We cannot protect them from everything in the world.  We can't put them in a bubble.  But I can't stop my fear and worry, especially after today.  It's too close to home, too impossible to imagine yet the reality is right there, on the tv, in front of my eyes.

What happened to our society?  Violence, fighting, was always in the schools.  Just this past friday we had our best friends over so our kids could play while we visited.  We were laughing about stories from when we were all in school, and another friend fought with our best friend.  Two, maybe 3 days later they were friends again, and still are now 20 years later.  Fighting happened, I witnessed many in the same school system I just registered my boy for.  But I don't remember weapons often being used.  We didn't take it to that level.  Why do they now?

We will now hear all the arguments about gun control, and the evils of guns.  But if we don't change society it won't matter if the guns are gone.  They'll use something else.  What are we teaching our kids that they feel this is their only option?  Or that the future is so empty they are willing to throw theirs away for a senseless act of violence?  Or perhaps it's what we're not teaching them.  That tomorrow matters.  That life matters. 

Tonight, I will hug my children tight, as I watched the parents in Chardon do as they led their kids out of the school.  Every single one clung to their own little angel with everything they had in them.  Some kids were crying.  Some looked to still be in shock.  My boys are little, and won't know why Mom and Dad cling so tight tonight.  But there will be extra kisses, extra snuggles, extra stories at bedtime tonight.  Maybe I'll let them have some hot cocoa.  Tonight, it just doesn't seem important to limit.  Tonight, I want their bubble to be perfect and safe.  I want laughter and smiles.

And today, tonight, and tomorrow I will cry and pray for the families, the faculty, the law enforcement and medical staff that are treating these kids.  I hope we all do.


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