Last week’s news was all about the shooting at my daughter’s college, Florida State University. Her home away from home. The library she frequently goes to when studying late at night. Three people shot just after midnight. Students running, hiding, praying.
That’s the kind of thing that hits a mom right in the stomach.
I’m so thankful Allison was having a tiring week and was asleep in her dorm by midnight.
I’m so thankful she wasn’t one of the frightened young adults cowering behind doors and library shelves, praying to God that the killer wasn’t headed in their direction.
I’m so thankful no students were killed and no parents were awakened by that phone call.
It’s hard not to tear up just writing these words.
We protect them for 18 years, and then we send them into this big, scary world, hoping we’ve equipped them with enough common sense, manners and morals.
Do they know what to do if their car starts to skid on a wet road? Do they know how to make change and balance a checkbook and wisely use a credit card? Do they know how to study efficiently? Do they know how to cook a simple meal and how to accurately separate their dirty clothes for best laundering results while still minimizing the number of loads per week? Do they know how to say “no” respectfully?
We should not have to give them directions on what to do if confronted by a Ted Bundy or a Danny Rolling or a madman who opens fire in the campus library.
Yet, here were about 350 students, most of them probably teenagers, responsibly studying in a quiet environment — doing what parents spend lots of money for their children to do — when they heard gunshots and all hell broke loose. Many probably thought they might die.
As parents of students who are away at college, we keep ourselves sane by telling ourselves that our children are safe, that they are getting enough sleep and that they are eating their fruits and vegetables. We trust they will be home with us for the next family holiday.
I don’t want my daughter to live in fear, but I pray she knows what to do if she is one of those responsible students just trying to get some studying done and someone barges in with no respect for others.