It’s been almost two weeks since the horrible tragedy here in South Florida. A mass casualty shooting came to a school in our backyard. It doesn’t even make sense to me. I guess it was just a matter of time, but it still feels so unreal. I’ve been wanting to pour out all my feelings about it on here, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it, until now. It’s so hard to talk about it all because I just keep thinking of all the ways we have failed our children.
I can’t even begin to fathom how the parents and family members of the victims are feeling or how they are dealing with such an incredibly heartbreaking loss. As a mom myself, I’m furious, I’m hurting, and I’m desperate for immediate solutions for our children’s safety! I’m beyond upset that my eight year old is asking me if he still has to go to high school. I can’t even imagine how my daughter, who is on the spectrum, is processing all of this. They shouldn’t have to be so afraid. I fear I have failed my kids because I haven’t been able to give them any valid reasons as to why this keeps happening in our schools.
There are so many parts of this tragedy that point to how we’ve failed our kids. We’ve put our wants above their needs and our interests above their safety. We have stopped talking to our kids about the hard stuff. As adults, we cut people out of our lives without communicating at all and no one really just talks to people anymore. We are bullies in person and all over social media. When people are hurting, we don’t listen to what they aren’t saying. The new normal is to just judge others or just be downright cruel. Our kids don’t get the support that they need and we don’t model for them what it means to be supportive to others. How can our kids be good friends, kind people, nice human beings, if we, as the supposed adults of this world, aren’t being those things ourselves? We are so busy only caring about ourselves, our happiness, and what we want, all of the time. We live inside our own little world without a thought for others. We are just here for ourselves, not to serve others. We’ve completely failed to look outside ourselves.
But despite us and our multitude of failings, our children, like those of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, are growing into the adults that we needed to be for them. They are fighting for what’s right. They are choosing kindness. They are working for change and making a difference. They are not letting our mistakes hold them back from getting things done that we should have made happen a long time ago. They are showing us what it means to be resilient and what it means to take responsibility. We’ve failed to do what’s best for them and yet, they have not failed in inspiring each and every one of us by being the brave, loving, and strong ones.
ALL of us have made mistakes in this. We have to own the part we’ve played and take an active stand. As courageous as our kids are, we have to stop letting them do our jobs for us. We are the adults and they are still the kids. The things our children have to face in this world these days are just horrendously tragic. As a society, we have failed them on so many levels. So much of what they face could be prevented. If only we, the adults, would be our very best, think about others, and stand up for what is right. But instead, we are forced to be reactionary because of our repeated mistakes and our constant self-centered thinking. As the adults, they look to us for love, support, and protection. They expect us to set the right example for them and show them what it means to be nice, kind, selfless, and caring human beings. But none of these things have been a priority for us. We’ve failed in showing our kids what is most important….Love.
I, for one, know I need to do better and be better. So I will continue to do my best to teach my kids that everything begins and ends with Love. Because they should not have to grow up this fast. They are just kids and they should feel safe. It’s not their responsibility to effect change. We have dropped the ball on so many important issues and they shouldn’t have to suffer because of it. Our kids should be able to count on us to do what is right for them and to always hold their lives above any other thing or desire.
We’ve failed our kids and we need to get it together. It’s time to show them and all people more Love. We need to go about all things with Love and we need to be Love ourselves. Let’s make a promise to our kids right now that we will do better and make Love the priority. Because Love never fails and failing is bringing them and us nothing but heartbreak.