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About Jake & My Whole Reaction To This Situation 
3rd-Oct-2008 02:26 pm
For a long time I thought that Jake would be the closest thing I would ever have to having a son of my own. This was before I decided I wouldn't have my own children and before the other kids (Cole, Sara Claire, Avery, Willow) were born. When Christi (daisy_down, Jake's mother) suspected at the age of 17 that she might be pregnant, it was me she told first. When she and Tarah (another dear friend I made around the same time who introduced me to Christi) confirmed this by a pregnancy test, it was in my house. She began crying and said "What am I going to do?", to which I replied "No, honey - what are WE going to do" - thus solidifying our relationship. This relationship has endured ever since.

Just this week she mentioned to me that if she looked into his future as a grown man that I would be on his top 5 list of most influential people. We're very close. I've written about him a few times before. She also mentioned that if I were to die tomorrow I could rest assured that I would be leaving this world in a better condition than I came into it in, if for nothing else than my relationship with Jacob.

When Jake was a baby, they moved to Florida for a short while and I kept a pair of Jake's footy pajamas and tied the arms in a knot around a belt loop of my favorite pair of jeans so it would be like he was hugging me every time I wore them. I kept them until they moved back. I told Jake this story only last night, as a matter of fact.

Try as I may, I cannot stop thinking about his life over the years and all of the growing up moments he's had, from his imaginary legion of 'police animals' that played Cops with him in our backyard to his obsession with the number 27. "Jake, what time is it?" 27. "Jake, how many fingers am I holding up?" 27. His first day of kindergarten, and driving him to school each moring thereafter. His plans to build robots and be a 'dirt worker' who drove backhoes and bulldozers.

And today all of that has felt threatened. Today I had to consider the reality of what can happen in an instant if left unchecked - and your life will never be the same again, not ever, and not for the better. For the first time ever I had to imagine today what it might be like to lose him, to see him walk out the door for another school day just like any other and never come back.

The last thing I told him last night before he went to bed was "Goodnight baby, I love you and I'll see you tomorrow." I'm unimaginably grateful that I'll be able now to say that many times more because of the bravery of the girl who sent the text message about the guns on the bus.

I've cried off and on all morning and afternoon, and to her credit, the baby (Willow, whom I've taken care of for the past two weeks) has noticed when I'm upset and comes over to shove Froot Loops into my mouth with a big, toothy grin and a laugh.

I don't wish these feelings on anyone, and we didn't even have to endure the kind of tragedy that the families of those who went through Columbine and similar school shootings did. If you have children, please tell them about this close call that has happened to my family. Hug them tightly, kiss them a thousand times while you tell them how loved and special they are and above all make it a point to know what is going on in their lives.
3rd-Oct-2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Jake's so very lucky to have you.

I am going to hug my kid like there's no tomorrow when I see him this afternoon. We've had such a rough go of it lately that often we go to sleep angry or have sharp words before leaving the house in the morning.

This was a good reminder that you really just never know what's around the corner.

Thank you.
4th-Oct-2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
How interesting is it that all of this came down just a day apart from us both discussing our respective Jakes?

3rd-Oct-2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, my God--what happened? I haven't heard anything all day except for the markets. ::hugs to you and Jake::
4th-Oct-2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Did you go back and see the post before this one, love? If not, do so...
3rd-Oct-2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
I remember how vulnerable my youngest sister seemed to me when she was little ("and what if the baby starts dying when I'm alone with her at home?") and how protective I felt about her as she was growing up.

But I can't even imagine what you are going through.
4th-Oct-2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
This was a huge reminder of how fleeting everything really is, and I'm grateful for that. Given all of the loss I have experienced in my life you would think I knew better, but we got the reminder we needed.
3rd-Oct-2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
I might have to arrange a special field trip for those kids where the bus takes a little tumble off a cliff and bursts into flames.
4th-Oct-2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
...or write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper expressing your desire to make examples of these kids - I'll be posting the link later on...

3rd-Oct-2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Jake is indeed very lucky to have you. It sounds to me like you need to see him, sooner rather than later.
4th-Oct-2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
He came home safe and I got the hug I needed - all is well.
3rd-Oct-2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
~ BIG HUGS TO YOU ~ I made an entry in my journal for you!
4th-Oct-2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, babe!
3rd-Oct-2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad things didn't turn out differently. I'm always thinking of all yall! love, Tarah
4th-Oct-2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
It was a FUCKED-UP day, T - but all is much better now.

We love and miss you!
3rd-Oct-2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
A month after Columbine, and my sister was still in high school, someone called in a (false) gun report on the school - a threat, actually. I was traveling out of state and when I called Mom to check on something, she told me about it. I remember being worried because at the time they didn't know if it was true or just some little asshole having warped fun.

I'd say she's better off now, but ... she works up front in a state government office where upset people with nothing left to lose routinely come inside. Different world we seem to be in from when you and I were small.
4th-Oct-2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
When Jake was about 4, he had a babysitter who lived in Littleton, CO and went to Columbine. That's a story he'll be hearing about soon, so he may understand better what happened.

It would never have happened when we were kids, that's for sure. These kids now have to go to school in fear - or perhaps it's just their reality and there is a certain desensitization going on. Either way, it's scary.
(Deleted comment)
4th-Oct-2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon!
3rd-Oct-2008 09:36 pm (UTC) - Too close of a call
Good grief, no one should have to go through this. Welcome to being a parent, worrying like you do. Who says you don't have children?

I am so glad Jake and his school friends are safe. what is this world coming to? When I was punk rock, girls tested their mettle by threatening me with a fight after school. There may have been a knife involved, which is very dangerous, but Jesus - fucking guns? Do they not think of their future, having innocent blood on their hands? Are we really this violent and bug-shit crazy?

Those two aren't going back to school, are they? WHo and what is to stop them from doing this again, or what stops someone from being a copy-cat? God, it'll be a long time before we feel those kids will be safe and sound. We cannot protect them from everything, but, fuck - they should be able to go to school without the threat of death or critical injury, for fuck's sake.

I am glad to hear Jake is safe. ((((((big bear hug)))))
4th-Oct-2008 07:53 pm (UTC) - Re: Too close of a call
Thank you, Nina.

I have no idea what is going on with kids like these, but I have to point the biggest finger at the parents.

No - they're done. Of course that's only with school - if there are legal charges, pending their outcome, they might still be looking at a slap on the wrist.

Thanks again, love!
3rd-Oct-2008 11:49 pm (UTC) - I have an idea of how you're feeling...
This happened at the school my daughters attend.

If you feel now the way I felt then, then you are feeling very pissed off and very helpless.
4th-Oct-2008 02:11 pm (UTC) - Re: I have an idea of how you're feeling...
Now I'm really terrified. What happened to the shooter?
6th-Oct-2008 04:24 am (UTC) - Re: I have an idea of how you're feeling...
The shooter, Jamar Siler, is currently in juvenile custody awaiting his second hearing to determine if he's going to be tried as an adult.

His sister, Ciara Siler (they're both adopted BTW), was recently arrested for a homicide that occurred just 3 weeks prior to this shooting.

6th-Oct-2008 04:16 pm (UTC) - Re: I have an idea of how you're feeling...
God, what a family!
4th-Oct-2008 07:54 pm (UTC) - Re: I have an idea of how you're feeling...
I remember reading about that when it happened.

That's EXACTLY what yesterday felt like.
4th-Oct-2008 01:35 am (UTC)
Fucking shit. What absolute fucking shit.

And you obviously do have a son of your own. Is half of his DNA yours? Obviously not. Is he your son? You betcha.

{{{Hugs}}} to you, you dear sweet man. {{{Hugs}}} to Jake, {{{Hugs}}} to Christi, {{{Hugs}}} to anyone there who needs 'em or just wants 'em.
4th-Oct-2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
I understand what you mean by "a son of your own", my stepfather neither conceived me nor adopted me, but he has been as much a father to me as my dead biological father.
4th-Oct-2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
You are the best, and I love you for it.
4th-Oct-2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I had read the other post during the middle of a show last night, and I swear I did not hear a single note the artist sang after that... In my life, we have endured a tragedy that took the lives of my former roommate and her three young daughters with a gun that was purchased at a sporting good store. I know every emotion of my own with this. I also picked up my phone and called my nephew and asked to speak with my babies because I had something important to tell both of them. I could not wait to hear their voices and tell them I loved them. I want to print out the story and give it to my red-neck of a nephew and make him think a little more of why I choose to spend time with him, his wife and their babies. Thank you for your ability to communicate this and for the reminders to keep in check. Love you!
4th-Oct-2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
I remember you telling me about all of that, and it makes it that much clearer to me how lucky we are.

We love you too, sweetheart!
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