My toes gripped on to the bottoms as my feet slid wildly in my boots. I walked down my street with a sense of urgency. I needed to be there.
I blew past the crossing guard who had barely enough time to get out of the warmth of her car.
“I’ll catch you when you come back,” she shouted.
I crossed the road and made my way around the corner. I could see that there were more cars parked in the culdesac than usual. Perhaps they needed to be there as much as I did.
From the same path we walk through everyday, lined with lost art and snack wrappers, I could see the parents at the fence. I took my usual spot next to the Mom of triplets and caught my breath.
She smiled at me, clutching her 1 year old tightly.
The parent banter was almost silent. You could hear shoes as they scuffed the pavement. Zippers zipped and unzipped. Sniffles and quiet coughs.
Then we heard the thunderous giggles and screams and laughter from around the corner of the school. I waited impatiently to see Chunky’s red toque.
Each class was let out one at a time. Each child was released one at a time. I watched as parents grabbed their children and squeezed them with every thing they had.
When I saw his red tassels, I was finally able to breath.
“He has the best smile,” E said.
As Mrs. K gave him a high five and he began to run right towards my open arms.
I knelt down beside him and hugged him until he couldn’t breath because some Mom won’t ever have this opportunity again.
I held onto his hand tightly as we walked home.
I told him that I loved him, then he smiled and said, “I love you too. You’re making my hand sweat.”
I can’t stop thinking that there is a Mom who lost their child.
There are no words that will make this horrible tragedy any better.
My heart goes out to all of those affected by the school shooting and for the souls of those innocent babes.