I sit here this morning shaking and shaken. Tears flowing uncontrollably…

Call me emotional, overly sensitive, dramatic. Call me a libtard, a snowflake, a Demonrat, or any of those other “clever” names that have been trending since 2015. But while you’re labeling me, you damn well also better be calling me a MOTHER, a GRANDMOTHER, a WOMAN, an EDUCATOR, an ACTIVIST, a FEMINIST, an AMERICAN, and a HUMAN.

The conversation on my drive to drop my teenager at high school today consisted of us discussing an incident yesterday where racial hate graffiti was found on a classroom desk at her school. The third or fourth incident recently that we’ve been made aware of. My daughter doesn’t get it… doesn’t understand how people can be so mean and hateful to others because of skin color. My daughter doesn’t get it… and neither do I.

As we approached the school drop-off line, the traffic was significantly worse than normal… and I immediately noticed why. Uniformed officers in cars and on the sidewalk, monitoring the students as they entered the building. The tears immediately began to flow, as I suddenly stopped talking and became deafeningly quiet. My daughter, my child, my baby sits next to me and notices the shift. She pats my arm and says, “It’ll be okay mom. They’ll find the person who wrote that on the desk.” This amazing human next to me, completely unaware of the massacre in Texas yesterday, thinks I’m still upset about the racial graffiti. My heart won’t let me explain the real reason I’m crying. I suck back the tears as we near the drop-off point. She tells me she’s nervous about walking past the officers, and I assure her they’re just there to keep her safe… all the while praying that there’s nothing to be “kept safe” from. She masks up… her choice to continue to do so… and nervously exits the car. I tell her I love her more than a few times as she gets out… she tells me the same, while rolling her eyes of embarrassment. That’s okay… I’m good at lovingly embarrassing my children in their teen years. The moment she closes the door… I fall apart.

I drive the short distance back home. Tears flowing freely. Knowing that I just left a huge chunk of my heart on the sidewalk of the high school. I return home to begin my work day… payroll, emails, phone calls, the usual insanity. Head and heart aren’t in it. They’re in an art class at the high school, in a playroom in Tennessee, in an apartment in Brooklyn. My children are still here on this earth… and I am overjoyed. And yet I sit here, shaking and shaken. And so damn angry that this has happened again.

No more thoughts and prayers. Only action will change this. Our living, breathing, beautiful, innocent children deserve better…

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