That thought flitted through my mind tonight, watching all the youngsters leaving school. Not the world wise, friend centric Emily's, in high school, but the pre-teens and barely teens in middle school, the Laura's, who still run up the stairs two at a time and can walk five blocks to art class, thank you very much, Grandma.
Watching for Laura to come from her after school jazz band practice tonight, I saw Liam come out and begin scanning the parking lot. Liam, Joe’s skippy little brother, whose mother was thrilled to find Laura in band, too, and we could car pool into their high school future.
I texted his mother at once, Is Liam in jazz band? I just saw him. I’d be happy to bring him home in future.
Laura appeared, put her stuff in the back and herself in the front. She was well into describing some new rhythm when my phone beeped, and I asked her to check. Laura read He is!!!! Wow..that would be SO helpful, Joanne!! I have been running out of work for the past two days!!!!! Can I give you gas money?
Tears started, but I didn't let them fall. Laura wondered if she should answer and I said No, I’d catch it when we got home. “So, what other songs are you learning for your concert?”
Back at home I replied Don’t be silly! It only makes sense. He already knows me; just tell him I’m in the front row for a faster getaway. WooHoo.
The answer Laura read caught me up short and took me straight back to the days Beth started school, and I was a working mom. Apparently moms were not to work back then because the school bus that took her from home in the morning would not drop her at the day care center after kindergarten. We sued them and lost; I’m paraphrasing, but the answer was they did not have to and so would not.
Beth spent kindergarten at my parents, going to Forest Hill, the last class of Mrs. Pollock, my kindergarten teacher. The next year, in first grade, I left work every day to pick her up and take her to day care and go back to work. When Shelly started school I employed the local cab company to take her from school to day care.
I know our problems are our own to solve. On the other hand, if there’s something to be done, step up and help, if possible. My parents did, why don't we? I know Liam and Joe’s mom is a single mother, a school teacher, an English teacher. I’m happy to make her task a little easier by a two block detour.
And now I will stop, and leave the question the news brings to me every day for the universe to ponder—how are we raising so many young people who believe senseless and brutal murdering can improve their world.