I volunteered to head up the Running Club for my school. I am so excited because we have 68 kids enrolled, which is truly amazing, and today was a beautiful day for a run.
Running Club is over at 3:15. It was 3:10 and I see the police coming towards the school. Next thing I know my school principal is out there and we are being told to go into lock down. Because we were across the street at the track we had to usher all of the children into the Early Childhood Center that sits right beside the track. I quickly get informed that there is a man on campus that is believed to have a gun.There are several parents there already ready to pick up their children. I feel responsible for making sure everyone gets inside because I am " in charge" of this club. We get inside and continue with the lock down procedures. I was so proud of our school district and the Bentonville staff. Everyone worked quickly and efficiently. I was also impressed with the Bentonville Police Department. They arrived and handled the situation in a matter of minutes. It turned out that the man did not have a gun, simply a gun type case that looked threatening. I would much rather be over caution than under. So thank you to who ever called the police in the first place. Truly your observant nature could have saved a bunch of lives.
Now if that wasn't scary enough, because it was pretty scary. The heart dropping took 20 years off my life moment came after the lock down was over. From the moment the lock down started I was keeping my eyes open for Ashlynn. I had asked a few people if they had seen her once we got inside, but no one seemed to know where she was. I wasn't really concerned because I felt like she was probably just locked down with a group I hadn't made it to yet. However, when all of the children were back outside I still couldn't find her. I started asking every child that knew her if they had seen her. I was asking all of the teachers. No one had seen Ashlynn. My heart was dropping by the second. I go back over to the ECC just to find out there are no children left inside. I go over to Mr. Poore, our superintendent, and start trying to talk to him. I am pretty sure I am not making any sense and he will forever think I am crazy. I literally am two seconds away from calling the police. My mind is racing with all sorts of different scenarios none good. I fall on the ground and can't hold in the tears any longer. Finally I hear someone calling my name and a couple of teachers coming towards me. They found her. THANK GOD! Ashlynn had to go to the bathroom before all the craziness started. Her teacher, who just happened to be out there walking too, had taken her back over to school to go. They had gotten locked down there and the message that they were there didn't get back across the street to us. Eight minutes of my life I will never forget. I have never been more thankful to lay my eyes on my child in my life. I am pretty sure I squeezed the breath out of her with my " hug" .
Ultimately it makes me pray a little harder for those mommas that never found their child. It makes me shudder at the pain they must have gone through for the hours of uncertainty they were experiencing.
As for this girl right here, I may not let her leave my sight until she is 54!
And just because you can- give your babies a little extra loving tonight too.