Logic and critical thinking seem to go out the door when we have to face the consequences of our actions or the actions of others.

Today I sit at my desk not wanting to be here, the guilt I had rationalized away as a working mom is working overtime on my psyche and emotions. My housekeeper has hung up on me, my ex-husband is refusing my calls, my kids think I'm nuts....they've moved on, I cannot, yet.

I've finally coordinated my schedule enough to attend two classes one night a week, mind you this is no mean feat, with three kids, a housekeeper just can't seem to work overtime, and an ex-husband who, in marriage, never had time for a family, and in divorce has all the time in the world, unless I have something planned.

Hard work, more hard work, and more hard work, had allowed me to move my family to a more rural suburban area, the price is a long commute, the perks is a relatively low crime rate, but an increasing rate of teen-on-teen violence, fresh air, and a community sports organization as well as outreach programs for at risk children my ex and I have built and maintained for the last 7 years. We became complacent.

Last night my children witnessed violence, not the violence of Yosemite Sam going after that Rascally Rabbit, or the streetchase of an Steven Seagal movie, real violence, real guns, real bullets, real flesh being penetrated.

You would think a local high school sporting event would be relatively safe venue for families and kids to be at, less than 500 yards away, young men were taking revenge for an act perceived or otherwise on another young man, while my son was walking back from the snack bar to get his sisters some gummy bears.

Gunshots disrupted an event where there competion was not for territory but for a blip in the local paper, maybe a picture.....

What does a parent who is out on there field coaching kids is to do? Protect the children he is coaching or the protect his own children watching in the stands? Or protect his child who is in the line of fire?

What does my friend do? Try to protect her friend's children that she brought to the event? OR try to prtect her child that is competing on the field?

What I am to do?

Everyone came home safe, the daughters were bathed and put to bed, the 4 year old complaining about everyone screaming and crying and that my friend "smothered her" and that she never did get her gummy bears, the 5 year old complained that daddy squeezed her too tight, the friend was reassured, the young boy was allowed to tremble and cry while I held him, the ex-husband fell asleep on the couch after consuming three wine coolers (wimp)...and I got very little sleep last night.

To some this a everyday occurrence, met with smug acceptance or helplessness, I am no stranger to crime or violence, having lived a life drug use and incarceration.

I have rationalized that this was an isolated case, that no matter where you live you cannot get away from it, that for every child that we've managed to take into our homes, feed, clothe and get help for there are many more that we may not get to, that being a full-time mom will make very little difference. I've even rationalize that the 14 year old boy that my son get shot down like a dog, that I could not do anything about. But i don't want to be here, I want to be home.

Our neighbor a sheriff came over and questioned my son this morning, my son had very little to offer as to details as he saw the boy get killed and not the actually shooters his back was turned as they had already caught the young men who fired the shots, The Grant Hill sneaks that were being held as a reward for a good report immediately went on his feet this morning.

The kids had gummy bears over yogurt for breakfast, The ex had a bit of the hair of the dog and went to work, and so did I.

But I don't want to be here, I want to be home.

Angela G. Cole-Counts
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