Today there was a lock down at our high school. I heard about it when my daughter, Tess called me from the middle school to tell me not to come and pick her up and take her to the high school for her basketball practice.
I’ve had kids in school for 22 years and never had a lock down. “Lock down” gives you that same queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach as cancer, or Josh Powell, or Columbine.
Of course I immediately texted my daughter, which is something I’m not supposed to do during school hours but is something I always do during school hours because what would be the use of giving a teenager a cell phone if you didn’t text them? Just sayin. Unfortunately, my carrier, whose initials are T Mobile, has terrible service inside the school, or no service at all, at least for calls that is, but I can usually get a text through.
My daughter called me back on somebody else’s phone, who doesn’t have T Mobile, and told me they were actually on “Shelter in Place.” When I asked her what that meant, she had no idea.
“Where are you in the school?” I coaxed.
She answered that she was in her sign language class.
“Is the door locked?” I asked.
“Are the windows covered?” I prompted.
For a sign language class, there was a lot of talking going on. I could tell that the mood was fairly light.
“Mom,” Morganne said, “I just wanted to say if I’ve ever done anything wrong, I’m sorry.”
Being the kind, sensitive mom that I am, I answered, “Morganne what did you do wrong?”
“Nothing,” she said. “I just want you to know that I love you and that you’re the greatest mom ever and you’ve always done everything right.”
I’m quiet for a moment, a little concerned about the solemnity in her voice.
“Morganne, are you a little bit worried?” I ask.
“No,” she sighs. “I’m just giving you crap.”
We both start laughing and I tell her to call when she can come out of her classroom and I’ll pick her up.
“Mom,” she says again.
“Yes,” I answer.
“I really do mean it. You are the best. I love you.”
“I love you too, Morganne.”
The “lock down” or “shelter in place” or whatever you want to call it is over. My kids are home safe and should be in bed. . . And I am very much aware that this wonderful life I live could be dramatically changed at any time and I am grateful, and humble, and determined to be nicer, kinder, more loving, more forgiving.
So, on the day after Valentine’s Day, when my Tess pointed out that all her friends got Valentines from their parents and she (along with her siblings—because I don’t discriminate) got a big fat nothing, I just want to send my LOVE to these people I call family. And I want to remind them of what Morganne told me earlier today: “. . .you’ve always done everything right,” which is true with maybe the exception of forgetting to get you all Valentines and letting you eat ice cream and cold cereal for dinner. But hey, nobody’s perfect, right? Thanks for loving me, cellulite and all.