This evening was another late evening at work, and I missed dinner again. Add to that the fact that Tuesday is piano lesson night, and it was a hectic hour of cleaning the playroom, piano lessons, and showers, alternating between the kiddos. As I helped John into his pajamas on his way to piano lessons, I tried to get the download on the day.
Apparently the most exciting part of the day was the fire drill. I remember those! I remember the excitement, too; the break from the classroom routine, and five minutes out on the playground waiting for the all clear. I relayed my enthusiasm to John, saying we used to do that when I was a kid, too.
Did you do intruder drills too, Mommy?
In that split second, as I fought back tears, it hit me just how different it is in schools these days. Fire drills, tornado drills - those I know. But intruder drills - John says that's when you lock the door and hide in the corner so nobody can see if there are any kids in the classroom - the idea of the necessity of the drill brings me to my knees as a mother. The recent, horrific incidents of school violence have changed things all the way down to my little community here in Northwest Arkansas.
Yes, schools have changed. More calculators; less cursive; more computer labs. More testing; less play time; more homework. And. More danger; less innocence; more vigilance. Change is hard, and accepting a new normal is uncomfortable. But uncomfortable is nothing next to the unthinkable alternatives. Vigilance is the new normal.