Posted in Fragile Life, Insight, Mother to Crone

Half-Mast for School Kids


In February, I found myself stuck in a chair, inside a building, listening to people talk at me for 7 hours a day.

When it was time to leave, they filled my arms with work that would eat away at what remained of the evening.

In encountering such violence (made more apparent in its stark contrast to self-employment), my heart went out to high schoolers everywhere, and thus when I later saw a group of angry-looking teenagers roaming the streets of the city, I understood.

On the second day of this three-day training, despite the holiday, there was no mention of LOVE, and so that when I returned to my hotel room, alone, I gave in to the novelty of television, discovering that a school shooting had just taken place in Florida.

What I wanted most to do in that moment was to embrace my own high schooler and keep him home from school for the rest of the week (or forever), but instead, I messaged him to be sure he opened the  chocolates I’d left behind, and then I got into a hot bath, and never opened my homework.

On the final day of training, there was no talk of the shooting, and yet just the thought of any high schoolers made it hard to breathe, and when one passed me in the parking lot at the end of the day, he looked me in the eyes and said with surprising warmth:

How’s it going?

And right there, with the sun high above us, and my satchel heavy on my shoulder, and the flag at half-mast, I almost cried.

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