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    Liesl Gibson

    How are you feeling and doing? It’s been a tough weekend, hasn’t it? We’re spending a lot of quality time together this weekend, and I’m dreading school drop-off tomorrow. What are you doing to cope?

    Sherry @mim22

    My heart goes out to all families in American, such a hard time and so senseless. Everyone give their kiddos an extra cuddle and tell them how much you love them today. My grandchildren live in Singapore and we are in Australia and would love to give them a big cuddle.

    rastis @rastis

    all the way over here in australia my heart is broken for those families… i cried for hours when i first heard the news and many more tears since then… i don’t really have any words… just sadness… i’ve been squeezing my children tight… i was so pleased when our politicians finally made the hard move to take back the guns here in australia after the horrific port arthur massacre… 2 years after it happened- as part of my job, i had to interview this lovely man http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Mikac

    which i will never, ever forget- his wife and 2 little girls taken from him… such grief and sadness

    i am so sorry for all those CT families affected and for all americans… i really hope your politicians are up to the job they need to do

    Nicole @motherof5

    I cannot comprehend it. It does not seem real.

    I was not always John Howards greatest fan but our government pulled together when they needed to to change the gun laws.

    My heart goes out to those poor poor families.

    cybele727 @cybele727

    My son, 6, asked today if any of the children would be home from the hospital by Christmas. We had to explain <again> that they died. I don’t expect him to wrap his head around this. I can’t.

    Reading the news is like torture, but at the same time, I think we are all desperately searching for something, anything, to make this make sense. And it never will.

    Tamara @justsewit

    I had to explain to my kids why I was crying while watching the news. My 7 year old was so philosophical about the whole thing. Kids of this age have little concept of death and we can’t expect them to comprehend what has happened. I just told him the kids were all so very brave when the “bad man” came and I genuinely believe they were – I hope they were because I know they were also very scared!

    I don’t generally cry over a news story and I have been sad and angry all weekend. Even talking about it with my husband had me in tears. It is incomprehensible. How could he have done such a thing? Time hopefully will tell us why.

    I feel for the families of everyone involved. It is so very heartbreaking.

    Mama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles

    We are lucky so far that our children do not know what has happened yet. I have been crying all weekend, the kids lost were my son Garrett’s age. My heart is broke. I want to keep my kids home this next week from school, sending them seems so scary now.

    Maggie @Maggie

    I have kept this news away from my 5 year-old. We are about 50 miles away, and the news has been of little else. I only hope that there can be some change to the gun laws as a result.

    juliamom2009 @juliamom2009

    I too have been crying all weekend. I can’t even fathom how this can happen. I’d like to believe that this may be the final straw that will make the government actually do something about gun laws. I really don’t understand the need to have weapons in your home. Maybe it’s just me….

    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    I feel for you all on the other side of the world. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to be fearful for your children’s safety. Obviously, the horror of losing a child in this way is unbearable to imagine…

    Coincidentally, Ani Di Franco’s album To The Teeth has been on high rotation in my car lately. While some may say we live in an overlegislated nanny state, I value my kids right to play safely much more highly than anyone’s else’s right to his “tools of rage”.

    The toughest thing must be carrying on and letting your kids still be kids, with all the freedoms and accidents that that could entail. Best wishes to you all in this endeavour.

    Liesl Gibson

    All New York City schools are starting to practice Hard Lockdowns and Soft Lockdowns this year. I was stunned when S told me about their first drill, and I had trouble keeping my emotions in check. I teared up and couldn’t talk for a couple of moments because I knew that if I opened my mouth I would sob. I’m so glad they’re doing this, but what a hard, terrible world it is that drills like this are necessary.

    We told S this afternoon and she was very calm about it. She only knows a very small amount of information, and she understands that she’s safe and that the drills are important to keep her safe. We talk about 9/11 frequently, but that feels so distant to a child. This is so much more frightening, even here in the middle of NYC where I suppose we face all sorts of dangers.

    I just hope that the anticipation of tomorrow’s drop-off is worse than the actual act of drop-off. After tomorrow, does it get easier?

    cybele727 @cybele727

    We got an email from the school saying what they were going to do and frankly it makes me feel worse because they are addressing safety but not emotional security. I don’t think the presence of police at start and end times for a few days is going to make a difference in a positive manner when it comes to a 6 year old’s fear. I don’t think having an assistant superintendent in the building will do anything. Frankly most admins who runs schools aren’t always, well…. I will just leave that there.

    Our schools are already buzz in and sign in schools.

    In an elementary school, I think you need to have some dialogue where every one is on the same page because frankly what they will hear on the bus terrifies me. I don’t need my son to hear that the guy (supposedly) had a condition that his sister has. I don’t need him to hear details that are pure gruesome speculation. Hmmm maybe I will drive him tomorrow am…..

    Thankfully, although my sons lips trembled when told, and his concern over their Christmases, bless his empathetic heart, he doesn’t fully get it. Thank God for small favors. He cries if a friend is sad.

    Does it get easier? Yeah. My father died when I was 8. The terror abates. The mind has a way of protecting itself, or we all would never leave the house ever again. The hard part is deciding if we should lie and say it can never happen to them, or if we should say the truth… No one knows why or if.

    While normally I am very truthful, (but edited) I will lie my nose off to make him feel safe.

    JohannaO @JohannaO

    We just practiced our hard and soft lock downs last Tuesday, as well as the Tornado drill and Fire Drill. As an educator, it’s simply part of the changed landscape of our society. I think nothing of asking a divorced parent now for court papers to show their role in their child’s education, or if there has ever been custodial interference that I should know about.

    My kids still don’t know. I don’t imagine it will last past Monday, noon. We just got an e-mail laying out the “plan” for the morning meeting, and how to talk about it with the kids. With the “plan” in place, at least we’ll be giving the kids consistent answers, which will hopefully make them feel secure.

    I have the feeling this will be a dividing time in our lives, much like the time before the towers fell, and how life has changed since the towers fell.

    mcholley1 @mcholley1

    I hope that each day can be better than the last for those affected by this horrible thing. I was thankful for a very busy weekend with our little family because I couldn’t help but cry every time there was a moment of quiet.

    Our daughter attends a wonderful, award winning school in our quiet community of 4000 people. Yet there was an incident last year sparked by a custody battle that ended in a grandfather firing at our on duty officer and forcing the officer to return fire and disable the man. The incident occurred after most children were gone home for the day, and the school (with a three minute warning) was in full lockdown by

    the time the grandfather arrived. So, I’ve already crossed that bridge of worry… or rather living with and

    letting go of my worry back in August when school started for our kindergartener. There is such a

    complicated bit of emotion there already isn’t there? I feel very comfortable with how prepared our school

    is to handle ugly situations. But, then there are some situations that no amount of readiness can combat.

    I too am struggling with the school bus chatter and what I’m ready for her to hear from other kids. I think I’ll be walking my daughter into her classroom in the morning also. We have told her very little and not had the news on if she was awake. I’m planning on letting her ride home with the “big kids” though. If she has questions about what she hears I will be there to answer them when she gets home.

    I’m guessing tomorrow will be harder on me than her, though. She still has a pretty limited concept of

    mortality or permanence. And, she has very little real life or television violence exposure as a five year old. I doubt she has the “playbook” needed to form a mental image of such a violent act or develop any sort of fear. (Which breaks my heart even more for that entire community of babies that had to loose their innocence.)

    I’ll be thinking of the rest of you mammas tomorrow and wishing for a swift day until we can hug our babies again.

    Jane @jesims

    My son is in the shower right now getting ready for school this morning. I have anxiety about sending him. Next to home, school is supposed to be the safest place our children go. Our district has sent out an e-mail explaining that they will have an increase in police presence. How sad, that our schools have to have a police presence.

    I hope that our nation can come together and talk about care for the mentally ill as well as gun control. Changes need to be made in both areas.

    I think the thing that stands out for me most is the reaction the teachers had. All of them had the instinct to protect the children. The teachers that lost their lives did so as heroes. It has me thinking now about how important the roles of teachers are in my children’s lives. They aren’t just teachers, they are protectors as well.

    When my son walks out the door this morning, he’ll get a bigger hug, I will be sure to tell him “I love you,” and I will worry more now than I have in the past 13 years of his life. 🙁


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