I’m not scared to send my children—ages six, four, and two—to school.

I’m not scared my children will miss their mommy.

I’m not scared my children’s needs will not be met in a timely manner.

I’m not scared my children will struggle with learning basic, age-appropriate educational concepts.

I’m not scared my children will not be intellectually and emotionally supported.

I’m not scared my children will be developing on-level with their peers.

I’m not scared my children will struggle to make friends.

I’m not scared my children will be bullied or even worse, be the bully.

I’m not scared my children have no one to sit next to at lunch or to play with on the playground.

I’m not scared my children act out in school because they desire more attention from me at home.

I’m not scared for any of this.

You see, I’m not scared about these normal things that every single loving parent frets about when it comes to their children and education because instead, I am fearfully terrified of my children getting shot at school by a lunatic.

How freakin’ sad is that?

How frightening and uneasy does that make you feel?

It makes my brain boil, my skin crawl, and makes me want to pummel any single person who has aided in this being a parent’s new reality.

I don’t have the luxury of being scared about the happiness of my children and the quality of learning they are receiving because I have been forced to worry about their lifespan instead.

I am terrified my children will not be standing and in one piece when I arrive for pick-up.

I am terrified my children will have to practice lockdown drills and evacuations on a regular basis.

I am terrified my young, innocent children will be informed or overhear more specifics than mommy has shared about the kind of evil people who are the cause for these drills.

I am terrified my children will become depressed when they realize how many school children have died in school shootings.

I am terrified my children will be horrified at the possibility of a deranged stranger coming into their presence without warning.

I am terrified my children are growing up in a time in our country where yesterday’s shooting is yesterday’s news because today’s shooting must take precedence in today’s news.

But, most of all, I am terrified over the fact that no matter what I, their hero teachers, or their school districts do to prepare them for a catastrophic event, I am no closer to a guarantee they will be standing up at walk-up line waiting for mommy with a head full of knowledge, a heart full of joy, and a smile because they get to see my face again.

As I said, I’m not scared; I’m terrified and it’s freakin’ wrong.

Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole's work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on FacebookPinterestInstagram & Twitter!