Parenting Blog

There’s A Fine Line Between Brave And Stupid

“There’s a fine line between brave and stupid,” said someone, somewhere.

I’m not entirely certain on which side of said line we are standing at this moment in time.

Our school was threatened this weekend. Or at least the threat was discovered this weekend. That’s just one vague nugget of many. The .pdf letter that was emailed on Sunday afternoon from the school’s CEO was short on details, a point that I chose to see as intentional rather than absent-minded. It was alarming still, with casual references to bomb sniffing dogs, increased security, ongoing investigations, and a police presence on Monday. But at the end of the one page message was a thank you to those who helped bring about a resolution. Um, so this here threat is in the past and is all tidied up? Or not? Ongoing investigation + resolution = confused parents.

I reckon some moms and dads kept their kids safe at home today, if that was an option in their family’s work structure. It was for us and we considered it, up until car-running-lunches-packed-standing-in-the-driveway o’clock, but we decided to err on the side of standing strong in the face of uncertain danger. I won’t call it bravery. Or stupidity. But throughout my Monday morning, I feel the tickle of both in my chest.

I don’t know if the threat was today specific. Or building specific (there are three, divided up by grade level). There is a lot I don’t know, including, where in the hell was the police presence when I dropped the kids off?, but I know for certain that we cannot shut the door, lock the windows, and hide from anything or anyone. Ever. That’s simply no way to live and I refute, possibly stubbornly, any notion that it is necessary. It might feel better in the moment, I mean, sure I wish my girls were making a mess in their eternally safe Playmobil school within earshot of me right now, but that’s not tenable for a well-lived life. We must be out there. We must be some kind of brave.

Unfortunately, my girls do not know they are being some kind of brave today. I wanted to have a conversation with them, I always do, but the timing and my mind and the words and the driveway and the all of it wasn’t going to be coherent enough this AM. I think we’ll talk about it all over dinner tonight. We’ll try to explain again that there is danger in the world, and that sometimes it can feel very close to us, like in our schools and workplaces, but that we have to continue on our path, smartly, aware, and as safely as possible. But continuing on. Yes. That is brave and often scary as hell, but not stupid, not at all stupid. That is living.

*This post was also published by The Huffington Post.

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