Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We Will Not Live in Fear

My kids learned a new phrase at school today:  Red Alert. 

At each class change, they had to learn the "safe zones" in their rooms.

My kids actually practiced a new procedure in case someone comes into their school and starts shooting.

That is just a bit on the disturbing side, and I'm torn as to how I feel about it.

If we only listen to the news, we have to assume the world is being overrun by crazy, evil people hell-bent on destroying us.

I am not going to deny that there are some dangerous people out there.

And I'm not going to shelter my kids from that fact.

They lock the doors when they are home alone.

They aren't allowed to go to the mall unsupervised.

They aren't to take the proverbial candy from the stranger.

Whenever they go on a bike ride, they go in pairs.

There are creeps, and I want my children to trust their built-in "creep" radars.

But I am not going to scare my children.

They will talk to strangers all over town in order to learn what is appropriate and what is not.  If they never talk to strangers, they won't know what is normal behavior and what is something to avoid.  They won't be able to learn what "creepy" feels like.  (There is one person in particular who works at a local grocery store.  He creeps me out.  I pay attention to that feeling and discuss it with my kids.)

Yes, they are and will be aware of the danger in the world.

However, I am going to make damn sure they know of all the good, kind people everywhere they go.

They are going to know that the people wanting to help us and be kind to us far outnumber the people wanting to do us harm.  People like...

- the worker who sees a newly lost tooth in a baggy on our kitchen counter and leaves a dollar, just to make a child smile.

- the volunteer coaches who give up so much time to help my kids have fun while becoming better players.

- the kind folks at the grocery store who chat and high five the kids to help the trip be less tedious.

- the moms from school who see my child waiting for me and ask if she needs a ride, a phone to borrow, or just a person with whom to wait.

- the dentist who goes out of his way to acquire teeth from the oral surgeon for my middle schooler doing a science fair project on tooth decay.

- the neighbor who plows our driveway without being asked and without expectations of being repaid.

- the restaurant hostess who takes my kids back to the kitchen to refill their milks and gives them candy canes off the Christmas tree.

- the people who run ahead to hold a door open for us.

- the mom of a student in my class who noticed Cuckoo in the room with me, so made up an extra treat bag on her son's birthday.

- the teacher who goes out of his way to write a note to me explaining something my child did to make the teacher proud.

- the dads who give up a weekend to take a bunch of scouts camping.

- the people who compliment Cuckoo on his tattoos and Turken on his mustache and make them feel like rock stars

- the couple who comes to take care of our animals and farm when we go out of town and while here fixes any fence or window or toilet they know needs fixing.

- the soccer parents who intentionally bring toys and snacks for the little boys to the games.

The list is endless.  And I want my kids to know it.

Because here's the thing.  If someone is hell-bent on hurting one of us, there isn't a whole lot we can do about it.  We can be aware and have discussions about it, but why live in fear of something that probably won't happen that we can't control anyway? 

I would much rather spend my time focusing on the wonderfully caring, generous, kind people sharing this earth with me. 

And I want my children to do the same. 

What are some of the nice things people have done for you lately?

Have a lovely day!


  1. Someone sent us a surprise check in the mail to help cover some of our bills. A woman who I have never met searched Craig 's list to help us find an affordable dining table big enough for our family. Sweet Internet friends took time out of their lives to congratulate us on our expectant joy and to add us to their prayers. :)

  2. Someone sent us a surprise check in the mail to help cover some of our bills. A woman who I have never met searched Craig 's list to help us find an affordable dining table big enough for our family. Sweet Internet friends took time out of their lives to congratulate us on our expectant joy and to add us to their prayers. :)

    1. Such wonderful people in your lives. Did you get a table?
      Still praying. And still excited for you!

  3. looks to b fixed.
    go ahead and delete the other comments

    1. I almost left the other ones, just because they made me laugh. Glad you got it sorted out.

    2. okay, here is my real comments...

      We've been a locked down campus for the last 5 years. Only 3 entrances 2 with ID necessary. We have always had "safe rooms" and our state did the duck and cover from Cuba so I think the natives are not even phased by a safe room. We have a code system in place for the last 19 years. If it was a new thing I would be alarmed but since there has been no change in our routine it is not alarming to me.
      I do think we need to remember that we are being attacked but it is only a small percentage of people who are out to hurt and scare us. I feel terrible for the tragedy that has changed us again. My breath was taken from me when I learned the first person killed was a principal, and then to learn it was first graders, I have both. I had a hard time letting them all go. I still get a sick feeling when I think about it. I think teaching them to trust their creepy person radar, and showing them logical ways of escape are both necessary.
      But thank you for reminding us that there are lots of small ways that we can see the good people

    3. And Yahoo it is STILL working

    4. We have had a security system in place for years. All doors are locked, visitors need to be buzzed in, and there is a camera so the receptionist can see the person. The school has actually been on a full-blown lock down more than once because of criminal activity in the area. Of course, we've found that this isn't going to necesarilly stop anyone.

      I'm sure it was extra difficult for you to send your family off to school, being that so many of your relatives are in the school.

      Keep focusing on those positive people.

    5. Yes it was hard. That following Monday I realized as I drove off campus, that my husband, 5 of my children, my sister, my mother, my father in law and my grandfather in law all are at that school, while my sister in law teaches at another school the only immediate family not in school is the baby and my mother in law. With the knowledge that my husband checks doors and the 3 story building his office and 3 of the 5 kids have classrooms in when I learn of school tragedy it hurts my peace of mind.
      I just have to remind myself that God is Sovereign and He knows all our tomorrows.

  4. That's funny - after all the comments overholt8 left about trying to comment, they never actually said anything LOL.

    Can't think of anything recent that anyone has done for me, but the whole red alert thing has me torn. Again, I don't have kids, so it's not an issue I need to deal with, but when you think about incidents like Columbine that involve kids from the school, having them know exactly what the response will be when they go in can make it even more dangerous! Seriously, if you're a nut job planning to go in and shoot up your school mates and know they're going to scatter to x and y and do z, you know exactly where to go! I'm not sure what the alternative is other than to just make sure the kids are more sensitive to what is going on around them. Very sad!!!

    Then I think back to just one generation before me and how they were all trained to hide under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack by the Russians. Seriously?!? It's always something.

    1. It was funny, and I even knew what was going on. She was emailing me as her husband tried to fix it. He was the one leaving the testing comments.

      It is so tricky. But I think the schools have to do it, if for no other reason than if something does happen, parents won't be able to come back and say, why didn't you plan for this?

      I forgot about the nuclear attack preparations. Very true.

  5. This brought me to tears! Focus on the helpers, the good people...yes, there are many of them. I'm sharing this with everyone I can! :)

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you found it worth the read. I get more nervous about posting serious things than things I think are funny. Really opening yourself up ain't easy, as you know.

  6. Next show and tell, your kids should take that list in to share to restore a little equilibrium and right approach to strangers. Fantastic stuff.

    1. I don't know if I could do that. Although, I hear the assistant principal and principal have seen the blog...

  7. I love this post, states exactly how I've been feeling about all of this. Sometimes I feel absolutely terrified about the idea of my kids going to school or leaving my side for any reason. I have to keep reminding myself that there are so many good people that exist. I know I can't shelter my kids from all the bad but it's hard not to try, I'll be helping them develop their "creep" radar instead. I hope this will get easier for me with time, mine are still babies though.

    1. Those early years, when the kids are never away from you, feel so safe and controlled, if not peaceful. :) It isn't exactly easy to send them out into the world, but when you see how much they thrive, it will be easier. And scarier. Yeah, we're moms. We'll always worry.

  8. AMEN sister! If we let fear and paranoia rule the day, well we have really let ourselves backslide, haven't we?

  9. I sent you out into the world and you made me very proud. And happy


Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!