Two weeks ago, I attended Pride in NYC and shortly after I parted ways with my 23yo son he sent me a text that read “mom there’s an active shooter.”
For 45 min he and others sheltered in a restaurant, eventually finding out the popping noises that had sent hundreds running in a panic from Washington Square park, were in fact, fireworks.
I noticed that when I got that text, and in the depth of my fear, all I could think was, okay. It’s my turn. Today is my turn to have a child in a mass shooting. I was weirdly resolute and stoic about it. I was consoling myself in real time, so aware that I’m not the only one going through that experience.
Wait, what? I still don’t know quite what to make of that reaction.
Last weekend, I called my other two sons who live in different cities to review what might be useful to do in case they were faced with the typical American experience of encountering a mass murderer with a killing machine at the 4th of July celebrations they were attending. We discussed this using the same tone as we would if we were trying to figure out what to have for lunch.
It turns out they way they have been drilled during their elementary school years may not be the best advice. So we casually discussed running in a zig zag pattern because a moving target is harder to shoot.
I don’t know what I’m more disturbed by. The fact that this keeps happening, or the way my own mind is normalizing it as a coping strategy.
Sending love to all of you holding this with me… as well as holding everything else, too.