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8:53 a.m. - 2012-12-18
monday after the shooting
I'm stuck in a sort of twilight zone, being both the parent of a kindergartener in Connecticut and an ex-news reporter whose husband and friends are all at Ground Zero of this school shooting. I have not been reading or watching the news because there is nothing I can do; it doesn't make the families of the dead kids feel any better if I read it and it certainly doesn't protect my kid.

The shooting happened in the coverage territory of the newspaper I used to work for; my friend Brian was coordinating the field office they set up near the elementary school and Matt has been overseeing the coordination of the whole reporting effort. If I hadn't quit news to be a full-time mom a couple of years ago, I would probably have sent the weekend banging on the doors of the dead kids' families. I tell myself that I am glad that this is not the case, but the truth is, if I was reporting the story, I would have something to DO. I would be focusing on getting pieces of a news story and not sitting at home thinking about my child, who I just sent back to school this morning, and twenty-plus dead children whose mothers weren't there to protect them Friday morning. (I am not, at all, blaming the parents -- what I am saying is that the most horrifying aspect of this story, for me as a parent, is the thought that those parents couldn't protect their babies and I couldn't have protected mine, either.)

I sent Mar back to school today. I know the odds of a copycat shooting are higher than most days and there was no visible security at her school when Matt and I dropped her off. I hope I didn't make the wrong decision.

I feel overwhelmed with guilt right now because while the entire country is reeling from the massacre of 20-plus kids with names and faces three days ago, 30,000 kids with names and faces starve to death every single day and I have spent most of my life doing nothing about that. I don't know how I, and the rest of the world, manage to look the other way.

I suppose I am starting to do something now, since I went back to school a year and a half ago to become a nurse, with the ultimate goal of working for an organization like Doctors Without Borders and writing about it. I suppose the best thing I can do right now is love my kids and study harder. And yes, that's what I'm going to do.



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