Who the Hell Could Do This?
December 16, 2012
by Kim Hays
Who the hell would shoot kindergarteners?
That was my first reaction. A quick Facebook status followed, and so did an overwhelming sadness that could not be fought off. And uncontrollable tears. Right here. At work. In front of colleagues. Days later, they're still coming. Still. Nothing can push the thought of 6-year-olds being shot execution style in their kindergarten classroom.
I have 5 year olds. Two of them. In kindergarten. The same class, sharing their first school experience along with a dozen or so newbies and a kind, loving and exceptional teacher. She ties their shoes — several times a day. Wipes their noses. She changes their clothes when they have an accident at school. All while teaching them to read, count and be good citizens. They love school. They love her. There is no fear.
Moving through Friday and on into the weekend, I rode wave after wave of emotion as more of the story came to light. Sick to my stomach. Grief, obviously, for the parents who will see their child up in the mortuary instead of the pickup line. Anger, toward a society that somehow lets this happen to children again and again and again. Anger toward the shooter. Toward anyone who knew him and possibly missed or ignored warning signs. Relief that Ryan Lanza's mother's won't have to live forever with the guilt of what her son did. Then guilt that I dare even feel relieved by horrible things.
At 3:15 p.m. I called my parents to see if they'd picked up my children. My son was sad because he'd gotten a disciplinary warning in class. I didn't care. Of course I didn't care. He's home. He's safe. I asked my news junkie father to keep the TV off today.
And prayed for more time for my children to be innocent.