I grew up in one and LB grew up in the other. Seattle is where my mangled roots of a family began (and ended for me) and Portland is that for LB. We are PNW people at heart, but hate the rain so we will never live there full-time again. In spite of my rainy weather phobia, I know every back road south of Seattle and LB's got the whole I-5 corridor on lock. Canby and Salem are the places where we spend Christmases because it is too much for me to be back in Seattle sometimes (honestly, 99% of the time). I instantly get all anxious whenever I go home-- there is just too much pain/sadness/anger/confusion there for me. As Ashley said when we were in Washington for my brother's funeral, "There is no healing left here for you to do." And yet, to have two school shootings in my two states within a week of each other, leaves me feeling all the more anxious/sad about going "home" for my bridal shower this weekend. By the time you read this, I will have flown into Seattle, driven down to Portland, and be gearing up for the final hour drive down to Salem for the shower. At the rate things are going, it is highly possible that by the time you read this, there will be another innocent taken from a sacred place: a school. Why is this not more unsettling for us? Kids killing kids. KILLING. MURDERING. Taking away people's babies. I used to be a teacher in a pretty rough school. Heck, I even had an eighth grader look me straight in the eye from down the hallway and tell one of my students, "I am gonna kill that white b*tch." And yet, I showed up to teach everyday because my kids needed me to. Even though there were days when I was afraid. Even though a few kids were already gang involved and, in Arizona, almost all of their parents had guns.
I've read two blog posts this week where mommas pray that it not be their kids. Is that enough? Is it enough to pray that it is not your kid when ALL OF US, every single one of us, will have to send our babies to school one day? When there are teachers who go into classrooms EVERYDAY facing this fear?
I am not answering the myriad of questions in this post because to do so would require a level of intelligence and insight that I do not possess. And not just because I am not a momma yet. But because somehow, kids being shot at school turns into a gun debate instead of a national travesty and a cohesive call to action. It is not political in the same way that health care is not political (what a loaded word, political).
The question really is this 1990s gem: what would Jesus do about kids shooting kids and what would Jesus do about health care? Religion aside, do we or do we not have a moral obligation to take care of EVERYONES babies, momma, dads, and grandmas? Do we have an obligation to do everything we can to keep EVERYONES babies safe regardless of the personal "sacrifice" that might require of you?
I end this post acknowledging that it is rambly and covers a lot of ground, but this is what happens when I am faced with going to Washington. It hits me like a shock and the shootings on top of that just pile on to the amount of self-reflection and rambling that occurs.