It’s a Mad World….

“We had a drill at school today” my pre-schooler announced when I picked him yesterday afternoon.

“Wow,” I said.  “A fire drill?  Did firemen come in their trucks?”

“No, Mommy!” he said, slapping his palm to his forehead as if to suggest I am so incredibly clueless, “A lockdown drill.”

And then….as my three-year-old described how he and his little classmates gathered together very quietly in designated areas of their locked classroom….and then practiced quickly and quietly evacuating their school….my heart broke.

It broke for the communities who have suffered the kinds of tragic events that have made lockdowns as commonplace as the fire drill.

It broke for the families of victims.

And it broke for my son and the generations of children who will grow-up in a world, in which so much of their innocence has been robbed from them, before they even know it.

I knew the drill was coming.  The school had sent a detailed letter home describing the specific lockdown philosophy they had adopted (there are many) and outlining the exact process.  But to hear it from my sweet, little boy made my eyes misty.

What a world, I thought.

It’s a phrase that comes to mind almost every time I hear of something terrible, sad, tragic and/or senseless that has happened….somewhere in the world….which these days is far too frequent.

As we made our way home, we talked a little about the drill.  I asked if he knew why they had to practice such a thing and he said, “For mergencies.”  

I prodded a bit more, but he clearly preferred to tell me about the Veterans project he’d been working on in class and the new song he’d learned that day and so I let him carry on the conversation of his choosing.

When we arrived home, he requested his afternoon snack and some TV time.  It’s a routine he’s adopted as a way of unwinding after a long day at school.  I typically use the time he’s otherwise occupied to wrap up a few last minute items for work, or begin dinner preparations.  But yesterday, I snuggled up with him on our couch instead, craving the need to just be near him.

As we sat together, my phone, resting on an end-table close by, buzzed and a news update popped onto the screen.

“At Least 18 Dead in a Flurry of Violence in Paris” the headline read.

What a world, I thought.

Then the next headline came: “French President Closes Borders, Declares State of Emergency After Paris Attacks”

Then another:  “At Least 100 People Killed Inside Paris Concert Hall”

And another:  “ISIS Claims Paris Attacks that Killed 127 and Wounded 200”

What a world, what a world, what a world, I thought, over and over as I watched and read the various news reports.

Then came more headlines:  ‘We Are Not Scared’:  Parisians Defiant in Wake of Attacks”

Another:  “Porte Ouverte:  Parisians Open Their Doors For Those Stranded by Terror Attacks”

And another:  “#StandedinUS:  Americans Open Homes to Parisians Stuck in U.S.”

And then:  “Peace for Paris:  Image Spreads on Social Media”

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 What a world, I thought.

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