My Mother’s Day Wish
My Mother’s Day wish this year is that not one more child dies by gun violence. In the last 30 days, three children have been shot and killed in their school while numerous others, too many to count, die on the streets daily.
My daughter, my first born, was a mere three months old when 20 children were massacred at their elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. I held my little girl wondering how I could possibly process her death, how I could ever overcome it. It felt unbearable to me, and she was alive and well in my arms.
Fast forward five years: her Kindergarten orientation. I sat across from the woman who would soon be my daughter’s teacher. She’d teach her to properly write her name, to read simple words, and do basic math. She’d also teach her how to hide and be terrified in silence in the face of evil and destruction. I wondered to myself if she’d protect my little girl? Would she be brave enough to shield her students from flying bullets? Would she sacrifice herself? I blinked back tears. Five years after Sandy Hook and the only thing that has changed is that kids must now practice for it?
It’s now the end of first grade for her. She says she’s used to it. I ask her what a lockdown is and she tells me it’s “for when a monster comes. But it’s not real, if it was real, I’d be scared.” At 6 ½, she’s now had two full years of survival training; she’s learned how important it is to be silent, even if she’s really scared.
Let me tell you, I am scared but I won’t be silent. I am sick when I hear the news of more children murdered; when I see the photos of kids with their hands on their heads, parents’ faces distorted in distress; when I hear a twelve-year-old survivor talking about “going down fighting.” Kendrick Castillo was three days from graduation when he jumped in front of bullets to protect his classmates! Enough is enough and I will not be silent!
Today, I think of the moms who cannot hold their children they’ve lost to gun violence and I make this promise: I will do everything in my power to change this. And when I meet my son’s Kindergarten teacher this summer, I’ll tell her that I am going to do something about this, that I will stand up for her, her students, and her colleagues. Enough is enough. Join me,let us not be silent.