I let her father take the intransigent four-year-old to school. She didn't sleep well again last night.
The elementary school is having a lock-down drill today. It's three months since the Newtown shootings, and they've never had one before. I suppose I'm glad they're addressing the need, but I wish the need was not there. This is a county-wide thing, spurred perhaps by a shooting at a high school not a million miles away last week.
When I heard about it I told Dash what they'd be doing, in the broadest possible terms. I reminded him that they have fire drills for when something happens and they need to go outside, and told him this is the sort of drill for when something happens that means they all have to stay inside.
Dash: "What sort of thing?
Mabel: "Like when magical unicorns are outside the school?"
Me: "Yes. Like that."
I wasn't going to go any further into it, not with the four-year-old standing there taking it all in. We left it at unicorns and nobody was worried. I don't know what they'll tell them at school today. I don't think unicorns will be involved.
[I don't remember ever even having a fire drill at school. One memorable time, the principal came on the intercom to tell us that nobody could leave yet because there were BOYS outside. With EGGS. It was rag week (somewhere; not that we had any sort of official rag week) and our sixth-years apparently had made connections in the neighbourhood with some disreputable types who had ditched school early to come over to the not-conveniently-situated girls' school to egg someone, or anyone. The nuns were having none of it. We did not shiver in our shoes but instead mocked the staff who had decided boys were scary. (I was secretly relieved.)]
Every day we send our hearts out into the world for other people to take care of, to carefully avoid with their cars, to not harm. It becomes so routine that we don't even remember that's what we're doing, until something happens. Something not like magical unicorns, and not like teenage boys armed only with eggs, either.
It's completely irrational, but I keep wanting to drive past the elementary school today to make sure they're all okay in there.