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I had trouble sending my kids to school this morning. I found myself clinging onto them a little more tightly during our morning hug, looking into their eyes as we said our typical morning goodbyes, watching their bus until it rounded the corner and I couldn’t see it any more.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the parents of the kids massacred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas this week, and how their last “typical” goodbye was anything but typical. And they don’t get a chance for a do-over. The last time they kissed or hugged their kids was the last time. They never dreamed it would be anything different, because that’s the thing: it seems like it can never happen to you, until it does.

I think of their last interactions with their kids. Were they impatient, rushing them out the door that morning, like I am with mine so many mornings? Or was it one of those wonderful mornings where everyone wakes up on the right side of the bed and everybody can find their shoes?

I think of their anguish as they heard the news, as they waited to see if their child was among the innocent victims of a madman, order testosterone cream online as they learned that their babies’ innocent lives had been cruelly extinguished, and their own had been forever changed.

I think of the unanswerable questions that rip at their consciousness over and over: what were those last moments like? Were the kids terrified? Were they in pain? Was it quick, was it agonizing, was it a living nightmare? Were they having a good day beforehand, were they joyful before they died?

As a parent, we all know the helpless feeling of not being able to protect our children from everything. It feels bad enough to think of them being bullied or even excluded at school. The thought of them being killed at school — and the utter inability as a parent to prevent it — is unfathomable. And yet, that’s what the parents of the victims at Robb Elementary are enduring. And the parents of Parkland, and Santa Fe High School, and Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech, and the list — unfortunately — goes on.

It’s an inevitability of parenthood that we won’t be able to shield our kids from everything. We know this. But damn it, we should be able to at the very least send them to school secure in the knowledge that they’ll return home.

But we can’t. And it’s utterly terrifying.

We can offer up all the platitudes of “thoughts and prayers” and lament about what a tragedy this is, but clearly those are strategies that have never worked to remedy this situation, not once, and they won’t work this time either. Until we make some serious changes in legislature, it isn’t a matter of if it happens again, but a matter of when. Parents all over the United States have to worry about whether their child will be the next in the death toll, and that thought makes me physically ill. These are my kids, and your kids, and they are at risk.

We live in a nation where not even dozens of slaughtered children can convince us to change the gun laws. Let that sink in. And then somebody, please, make it make sense.

 

For information on how you can help lobby for stricter gun legislation, visit Moms Demand Action.

 

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