Like so many, I held on just a moment longer this morning when saying good-bye. The walk into school seemed a bit longer than it had in recent days and the people going in a bit smaller. I talk myself off the cliff with reminders that they go to a small school that feels safe, they are watched over by wonderful administrators and amazing teachers who know them well and care for them greatly. I routinely hear the teachers refer to their classes as "my kids" and I know it's true; the wonderful children we share our school with are much more than students, and the teachers who spend their days with them are much more than teachers.
As much as I wanted to keep everyone home today I knew that there was no giving in, and that today, and tomorrow and the next we must all get up and go to school. I know that they are more likely to be harmed in a car accident than a school shooting but when I watch the two most important people in the world walk away from me, logic matters not at all.
Years ago, very soon after the attacks of September 11th, I heard Bob Woodward speak at the Chicago History Museum. Although he was there speaking on one of his books, the majority of the questions had to do with the attacks. The one answer that has stuck with me for all these years, in response to the question, "what next?", Woodward answered "our children". His thoughts, that our children were vulnerable, our schools and school buses not prepared for any sort of attack, and that certainly Americans would be harmed beyond repair if our children were the target of a terrorist plot. There was a marked silence, several questions, and then a gradual acceptance, the realization that harming children would be the ultimate terror, the thought of children being attacked is far too horrible to imagine.
And what I am left with today, it's not the Taliban attacking our children, it's us. We fight back against the terrorists but we, as a country, embrace the right to legally purchase our own weapons of mass destruction.