What If

Today two cars drove by my children’s daycare. Inside those two cars were men, kids really, with guns. They were shooting at each other. One of these kids is wanted in a murder that happened a few months ago. As they sped past my children’s daycare, the teachers thought they were hearing fireworks.

I was unaware. I was wrapping up a work meeting.

My daughter’s classroom faces the road. There are cribs near the windows. There were babies sleeping and cooing and playing while a rolling shootout passed their classroom.

My son’s class was gearing up for their weekly visit from the ice cream truck. Every Thursday afternoon, an ice cream truck comes to his school and his classmates line up to go outside and order a treat.

I’m sitting at home now, my daughter sleeping heavily on my chest while I listen to my husband and son laughing and being silly in the living room.

I’m a worrier. I am constantly playing out worse case scenarios in my mind. The details are vivid, not real, but vivid enough to take my breath away. 

I’m imaging the worst. My heart is racing and my eyes are burning as I fight back tears. The sound of my daughter’s soft breathing is echoing through my ears and I am grateful for each breath.

It didn’t happen today. It could have happened today. The guns. The bullets. They wizzed by my life today and I had no idea.

My babies are home safe. For that I am grateful. Today, the what if remains a what if. But, it’s a heavy one. 

Am I being over dramatic? Perhaps. But, in the world we live in, or rather, the America we live in, gun violence steals too many young lives every day. Too many mothers won’t ever hear their babies soft breathing or loud giggles.

Today, I am lucky, but, I am also terrified because it can happen. It does happen.


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