Abbey Lou, Taking Style To Class

Abbey Lou's Blog

Count Your Blessings

Jennifer Smith - Thursday, September 13, 2012

In April of 1999, when Logan was 1 1/2 and Abbey just 2 months old, I took them to visit my parents in Colorado. I was living in Georgia at the time so a cross country flight with 2 babies by myself was hideous... so I usually stayed a month before I thought I could make the return flight home. On April 20 my mom and I loaded the babies into the car to run some errands. While we were out we started getting broadcasts on the radio about a shooting at Columbine High School, approximately 45 minutes from the high school my youngest brother was attending. For the next several days I sat glued to the t.v. in my parent's basement crying over the stories of the victims and families of that horrible tragedy. One story really struck me as particularly tragic. The kids in the library who hid under tables and behind bookshelves with no way out.

Abbey is now 13. On September 11, 2012 she was standing at her outside locker when a teacher screamed for her to get in a room. Gunshots had been heard on campus and the school was being put in lock down. The closest room to Abbey was the library. She ran in there and hid behind bookshelves for 2 1/2 hours while police swarmed the school and searched every room with guns drawn. Down the road my son Dylan, 8, was also on lock down. His 2nd grade class was locked in their room with the lights off, blinds drawn, and told to sit in a corner and be very quiet. Again, for 2 hours. Some kids fell asleep:)

Fortunately, I didn't hear about the incident until 2 hours into the lock down at which time I completely fell apart. Had I known sooner there is no doubt I would have gone running up there like a screaming banshee and gotten myself admitted to a "hospital." The greatest news in our life right now is that no one was hurt. The school administrators and Prescott police force handled the situation quickly, professionally, and efficiently. For that I am truly grateful. We live in the mountains of Northern Arizona. The school campuses are beautiful with the buildings built around the natural resources, leaving the tall pines and rock formations scattered throughout the campuses. Often when I am up there I can't help think how easy it would be for a weirdo to hide there. Not pleasant thoughts, I know, but I'm a mama bear (and a fraidy cat) so I notice these things...then go have nightmares about them at night. The staff and police really put their lives on the line as they searched those campuses, not knowing where someone could be hiding.

The last few days I have been weepy. Easily crying at the thought of those poor kids huddled in their dark classrooms waiting for something to happen. But I'm also weepy with joy. That something that could have turned out so bad, instead turned out okay. I'm grateful that my husband and 4 children are sound asleep in their beds another night. I'm grateful I have been trusted to raise these kids. They are an absolute joy to me. I'm grateful for dear friends, pizza, and Modern Family. I'm grateful for country music, Twix bars and yoga pants. I'm grateful for fall leaves, date night, and vampire books. Okay, now it is your turn. Forget the yucky, stressful things in your life and count your blessings. Go on, do it...I bet you find more than you thought. And I bet you have a much better day today! I truly hope so...