Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For What it's Worth

I've been reading posts, and comments on posts about the shooting spree of the student at Virginia Tech that resulted in his death and the deaths of 32 others at that school. Senseless violence are two of the words that come to mind when I think about this. Troubled youth. Gun laws. But more than anything, I can't keep my mind from wandering to the parents, and in particular the mothers of the students who fell victim to a troubled soul's homicidal action. Because I can't help but imagine myself in this type of situation. I imagine that I would feel great relief if my son chose to go to college over going to war. I have, and will only ever have, this one boy. If, when he is grown, he chooses to enlist in the military services, I doubt that I will ever sleep well again. But college, that's supposed to be a "safe" environment, right? How many of the parents whose children perished due to the senseless violence on Monday thought the same thing? During the age of conscription (the draft), college and grad students were exempt. The draft ended in 1973, but I think, for those who are old enough to have lived through those times, that sense of safety from the violence of war still lingers. Some of those who would have been eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War are the parents of college-age children today. It's bewildering, the thought that I can't guarantee my son's safety, that there are fears and monsters that I will not be able to banish. Right now, I want to believe that he is safe in our home, safe as long as we are with him, able to remain an innocent child blissfully ignorant of the pain and suffering in the world around him. Of course he will grow up, and like a kitten his eyes will open to the harsh light of the real world. Mama cat teaches her kittens how to defend themselves and prepares them to go off on their own. I have but one chance to get this right - one child to raise - and I know that my entire being would collapse and shatter and withdraw from everyone and everything if I ever lost him. My heart goes out to those parents who suffered such loss on Monday, and every single day we loose troops at war.

11 comments:

jen said...

amen.

Mary G said...

I think that what I feel is rage. And I'm not sure whom I should be angry with. Authority seems to have failed those kids, government sent the others into harm's way for reasons that do not convince me. But we elect the government, the goof-ups at Virginia Tech probably answer to a board, the pitiful shooter had been through courts and doctors. What can we do?

theflyingmum said...

Mary G: I don't feel rage, just very, very sad. But I understand where you're coming from. I haven't read all the news releases, but the actions of the officials at VT seem a bit negligent. They knew they had a gunman on campus but didn't go into lockdown immediately. Who knows what their current policies are, or if there even are policies in place. If there aren't, there soon will be. If they did have a policy, I'll bet it's changed. Or at least, I hope it has.

NotSoSage said...

I know. That's one of the biggest wake-up calls for me when something like this happens...that nothing we can do for our kids is ever a guarantee.

(meme: I will send questions along and you can answer them whenever you've recovered from your latest trip)

nowheymama said...

Thanks for writing about this. I couldn't find the words.

I look forward to your Q&A from Notsosage.

Mad Hatter said...

I'm actually still baffled by the randomness of it all.

Ya know, I swore I left a comment on that last post and I notice there isn't one now. I can't even remeber what is said: something about those rare times when we can slow down to appreciate the "hurry up and stand still" pace of toddler existence.

theflyingmum said...

MH: I don't recall that comment, but there has been sooo much this week on this topic on other blogs, I'm sure it's out there somewhere...

theflyingmum said...

I just read my response to mad hatters comment and i had to laugh "i don't recall that comment..." like i have so many that i don't remember them all? Well, to echo so many of you, last week was beyond crazy. I'll be flying around this week - will catch up with you all after i get back.
-Becky

christineS said...

Hey Bec - I just had to tell you how interesting it was that your thoughts went to the parents of the victims, especially the mothers. Those connections are strong aren't they? The fear of losing a child - what could be scarier? My thoughts went in the direction of the parents as well - except Cho's parents, especially his mother. I have been struggling with Rowy's behavior since Rhett lost the election and keep telling myself I can't just let him detach in hopes his feelings go away (which is what he's been doing). I have to help him find ways that are healthy and appropriate to deal with his emotions. Then the VT shooting happened and it really made me think. I don't know if I could survive if my child committed such an unthinkable act, much less was killed.

theflyingmum said...

Christine - I hadn't heard the election outcome, thanks for keeping me posted. What's up with Rowy? I'll have to email you, or call you soon. We're going to try to get Ben out to M & M's during part of Rowie's stay, but it'll be tight as we have snow days to make up. I'll talk to you soon.
-becky

allrileyedup said...

Beautiful post.