Yesterday my children’s school was on “soft lock down.” There had been a home burglary in the area and the police requested the lock down as a precautionary measure.
I didn’t find out about it until the lock down was over, and I found out about the lock down and the reason for it at the same time, so, I was not worried. I was a little freaked out when I found out that the suspect had last been seen a block from my house, but not too concerned.
I was fine with the lock down. I was fine with my children telling me the difference between a “soft” and “hard” lock down. They were not afraid and I was not afraid.
Last night we got an email from my son’s teacher. She explained what had happened, and how the students had handled it. She said they discussed the differences between the lock downs, and various “what if” scenarios. Then, there was this line, “To be honest, the scariest thing for them was the possibility of being in the dark.”
Of all the things, that made me cry.
My son is in first grade. I can easily pick him up. He still fits perfectly on my lap when we read and I can “puzzle piece” him for a good cuddle. He explains complicated football plays to me and dreams of being a professional athlete. He is a little bit afraid of the dark.
He is the same age as the victims of Newtown. He is afraid of the dark, and they were afraid of the dark. Several months later, it is still too hard to think about. I think that for a long time, we will all be a little bit afraid of the dark.