What’s Coming?

I didn’t sleep well last night. Fitful dreams of scared kids. This morning I was up early, I readied for my follow-up breast exam. I’m less nervous than I thought I’d be, thanks to so many of you reaching out. You’ve been down this road I’m on, and overwhelmingly it all turns out just fine.

The weather is good in Atlanta today. Emory’s campus is lovely in the spring, which is helpful. Hopeful. I’m early for my appointment. I’m perpetually early. I grabbed a Chai Tea and found a spot outside Winship. I intended to read Rivka Galchen’s new story in the New Yorker, then a helicopter landed on the roof of The Children’s Hospital.

Jackson’s school was on a Level III lockdown last week. A couple of expelled kids snuck onto the school bus to “finish” the beef they had with another 8th grader. A friend of Jackson’s. They made it undetected into the gym. It was quickly stopped by fast-reacting teachers and admin, but not quick enough. Now there’s talk everyday about guns, and shootings, threats on social media, and a tension that is filling up the kids’ heads, the parents’ hearts.

The threats seem to elevate with the weather. We look forward to spring, the blooms, the sunshine. But it also means the end of the school year and that is sometimes long. Very long.

The news out of Nashville compounds, ignites. We are all just walking around scared and confused. The trees are still blooming, but it brings a sense of dread. What is next? We are always asking. To ourselves and each other.

When Jackson was two years old, he took a tumble down a couple of stairs. He skinned his knees, his elbow. I called the doctor right away. Should I bring him in, I wanted to know. She said he was okay. Said kids are resilient. They are fearless, too. He will go back down those stairs, fast just like before, but the next time he will know how to handle a fall. I will know how to handle a fall, because we will know what is coming.

But what about when we don’t know what’s coming?


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