Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mom's "Spidey Senses" Tingling

I just had one of those moments where, as a parent, you make a choice that goes against your mom instincts. Eric, the sixteen year old Sophomore, has a tennis match this afternoon. I seem to be the designated team driver, since most of the moms work full time and our school does not have a school bus. Today's match, an away game, is at Roosevelt High School located in one of the rougher parts of town. Normally, I stay to watch Eric's matches but today's schedule prohibits that since Adam needs me to take him to a clarinet lesson. Dad is slated to be the Hendey family cheering section for the afternoon, so Eric won't be without support.

We've played Roosevelt and other teams in that section of town in the past and I've never thought twice about Eric's personal security. But last week, Roosevelt was the site of a student shooting where an on-campus police officer was personally attacked and subsequently shot and killed the student. This happened about a week ago, and our community is still in mourning. The teen involved had a history of mental illness and there are inferences by the police that this was "suicide by cop". Regardless of the circumstances, a life was lost as countless students were watching and a lockdown ensued. Surely, this is something these young teens will remember for the rest of their lives.

I remember hearing about the shooting during a telephone conversation with an associate who lives across the country. She said, "Do you know anything about the high school shooting in Fresno?" Since that was the first I'd heard of the event, I immediately hopped over to CNN and checked out the details. Roosevelt High is only a few miles away from Eric's school, yet I remember feeling a sick sense of relief when I saw that the events hadn't taken place at my kids' school. Not that I wished that horror on the families of Roosevelt...I guess my relief (which now saddens me when I contemplate it) is a pretty normal motherly reaction. The events of that day continue to unfold, and my prayers for the family who lost their teen continue, as well as my prayers for the officer who had to make such a terrible decision in an effort to save his own life.

I don't know what the point of all of this is today, except to share my sense of malaise. I can recall watching two years climb to the top of a slide or five year olds taking off training wheels and having the same sense of maternal fear. In my mind, I know that Eric is in a safe place this afternoon and that the events of last week are an isolated incident, but in my heart I'm counting the moments until he and his teammates have completed their match and come home. Do you ever have these moments of motherly fear, and if so how do you cope? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

And in the mean time, please join me in praying for the repose of the soul of Jesus Carrizales, for healing (emotional and physical) for the officer involved, and for all of our children who face fear, violence and danger in today's world.


AC Momma said...

What a wonderful post. The incident at Roosevelt was unfortunate and I hope nothing like that happens again in our area.
I understand how you feel with your son playing his match there. But you are right, it was an isolated incident. I'm sure he'll be fine.
I was just telling my husband the other day that I worry about our children starting school and they are still yet so young. It seems like so many more "incidents" are happening on a regular basis.
I'm feeling a bit of relief that we decided to send our son to St. Helen's.
I know this is silly, but my children attend a Christian preschool in Sanger and they will have a few field trips each year. Last year they were taking the children to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. My two year old required a guardian to go but my four year old did not. For some reason I couldn't go so I didn't schedule the kids to go. I felt a little pressured from my son's teachers to let him attend, even if my daughter couldn't. So after much thought and prayer I decided to let him go without me. Wrong decision. I worried the whole day. I kept thinking, "who is going to take him to the bathroom? Will they stay in the bathroom with him? What if he gets lost from the group?" (I'm sure you know too well all the stories about the bathrooms at Roeding Park). Just all the typical thoughts of a worried mom were bouncing around in my head. I was such a nervous wreck and felt like a horrible mother after that I vowed never to let him go on a field trip without me again. My children are obviously very young and I'm sure I'll have to get over it as they age and are in sports, etc. But for now they don't go anywhere without me, my husband or a close family member.

Lisa M. Hendey said...

Eric did just fine yesterday, as I knew he would. It wasn't so much that I felt he was unsafe, as just this nagging uneasiness within me. Hard to explain.
I feel blessed to have been present for the vast majority of both boys school related trips, but when I couldn't go I was always confident that the moms in their classes were competently watching my kiddos. You will love St. Helen's - it's such a great school! I especially love the school grounds there - they are very well kept up.
Loved my trip to your blog today. I need to post a picture of my vintage Infant of Prague statue some day...
Have a great weekend!