- Posted December 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes
A mothers reaction to CT Shooting
Oh god, no, this isn’t happening. This didn’t happen. Dear god, where are you?
I see my 4 year olds face in her classroom. She’s sitting on the rug with other 4 and 5 year olds listening to her teacher read a story. A story for my Story. They hear a sound. The teacher knows what is happening but prays it’s not true. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, GET DOWN, GET OUT, RUN BABY RUN! But they do not hear me. The teacher stands and heads to the door, reminding the kids to stay seated. He then runs back, yells at them to get in the bathroom, fully accepting the truth now; there is shooter in the school, in the preschool. He turns off the light. Story is crying, afraid of loud noises, the gun shots getting closer. I am trying to get to her but I cannot. I am screaming at them again; GET OUT OF THE BUILDING, RUN, RUN! But they huddle and cry and the teacher tries to sooth them. They are in lockdown, they are not supposed to leave or let anyone in. I try to mentally reach precious Story. I am whispering to her, willing my words to be a salve on her terrified heart. "It’s a camping trip! You have always wanted to go camping. We are looking for a flashlight. We have to be very quiet. It’s ok baby girl. I have you. I have you. Shhhhhhh."
I wake up. Its 2am, December 15, 2012. It was a dream. A nightmare. I get up and walk across the living room to where the angel I love more than I will ever be able to say, is sleeping. She’s sprawled in some weird position. Her hair is tangled and matted to her face. She’s hot, I can tell, her little cheeks red, her Dora sheets damp. I walk to the hallway and turn the thermostat down. She’s always ran hot, I think to myself, and grin a little thinking of her refusing to wear a coat in the winter of 2010 when she was two and very defiant. She’s still defiant, but she will wear a coat now, as long as it is her idea and decision, and it’s purple. I walk back to her room and cover her with a thin sheet to allow her to cool. I sit down and watch her sleep for a while.
When I remember my dream, I am reminded of why I am awake. I am reminded that there are 20 other sets of parents probably awake too. Maybe they are doing what I am doing, but they are staring at an empty bed.
My dream was just a dream. Theirs is real. I cannot breathe when I think of them. Or when I put myself in their shoes.
So I do what I imagine a lot of parents did that night. What some parent’s couldn’t do. I crawled into bed with her and pulled her into me. Safe now. Sweat be damned.