Something I wrote after the attacks on Paris. What happened there (and not just there, but it was the catalyst) weighed heavily on me and this is what came out.
Your worst fear was the boogeyman under your bed.
Your worst enemy was that boy down the street that kept pulling your pigtails.
The only reason you feared going to school was because you didn’t study for that test.
You could play outside unsupervised until curfew, which was when the street lights turned on, or you got called in to dinner.
You got grounded for sneaking out to meet your boyfriend.
Your only gun was the one you shaped with your hand and made ‘pew pew’ noises for.
Mommy or daddy being away for work meant staying up late so you could talk to them on the phone, and never fearing they wouldn’t make it home again.
Mommy and daddy taking you to school for your first day meant never having to worry about more than if you liked your teacher and if you made friends?
Seeing the police meant safety, and maybe a speeding ticket.
Telling people, “My daddy was a soldier,” was met with “That’s so cool,” and not “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
Today, everything feels wrong.
Today, a child brings guns to class because he can’t handle his life anymore and wants to take others with him. Teachers and children fall.
Today, mom and dad go out to dinner and never make it home because their restaurant got bombed.
Today, CPS gets called on a mother who allows her children to be outside on their own and learn independence.
Today, we’re on the precipice of war, with enemies a dime a dozen, each no less a threat than the other.
Today, police get gunned down for doing their job.
Today, seeing those flashing lights could mean you lose your life, and not just a few bucks.
Today. Today. Today.
Today feels heavy. Sad. Weighed down.
There is no safety, no innocence left. At least, that’s how it feels today.
But tomorrow. Tomorrow there is still hope.
Hope for peace.