Guest Post: Laurie Childree

War Paint

The request for guest posts was not one I could pass up; when I learned the theme I went about writing a post, or rather starting a post. The original post has been scrapped. I was distracted by something shiny, then life interrupted to wake me to the reality of interactions.

There are positive and negative interactions, our only wish is to shield the innocent while the reality has us hoping to heal the innocent. This post I’m sure will offend some even though it is in no way political or religious; it is simply something that had to be gotten out. It weighs heavily on the mind.


gunThere have been two mass murders at elementary schools recently. One with a knife, one with a gun. The one closest to home (in the U.S.) got a great deal of media coverage within hours shoving the reality in everyone’s faces. The reports focused on the shooter, wrongly identifying his brother as the shooter at first but finally correcting the matter to reveal his true identity.

Children were interviewed as we watched in horror that this could happen in such a small town. The fear and shock were still evident on their faces and in their voices as they answered questions from a reporter trying to be tactful with the children that often had difficulty describing what they had been through. We move to small towns to feel safe thinking that we can avoid the demons that hide in larger cities. We cry out in anger and disgust that someone could do something so gruesome, the events are analyzed and profiles searched for the reason; all the while the media feeds the frenzy.


There is a reason they call it the “money shot,” it comes with a price. The price is often higher than we would like. Of course, by now you are wondering what in the world this has to do with interaction. Well, it has a lot to do with interaction; after all, the looney tune man that rained terror interacted with the victims, and he unfortunately will go down in history. No, he will not be famous, he will be notorious. There is a difference.

uneven scaleFar too much media coverage would be given to those that commit the crimes while far too little is given to those that sacrifice their lives to protect the innocent. The teacher that died protecting her students, the principal and other staff that ran toward the shots while others admittedly dove under tables; these are the ones that will be forgotten all too soon as life moves on.

The interaction in the days to come will be funeral planning, sympathy cards, prayers and condolences. The media coverage will drizzle to a halt until someone writes a bestseller. Time will pass, and the scarring of the events will begin to heal at a rate only known to the directly affected. There is nothing that can be done to prepare for this type of tragedy; no matter how many times we attempt to teach are children to be safe, they are the most vulnerable in society. The same innocence that makes you see life in a new light, finding pleasure in the simplest of things, makes them unaware of the dangers.

Everyone is a stranger at first; we tell children not to speak to them automatically limiting the circle of interaction. We want to feel safe in our homes, which in reality leaves most of us spending more time with the locks on the doors than with the members of our own household. We arm ourselves; we pray, curse and plan, but we overlook the time it takes to ask someone about their day, their feelings and the little things that are the most important to them.

The less we interact as a society increasingly dependent on electronic communications that allow us the luxury of never actually seeing another human being the more likely we are to see what we perceive as unexpected outburst. They say no one could predict, but how many of those spent time with the ones that are committing the crimes? How many spent time with those that commit suicide?

Interacting is more than ramblings of the day; it is paying attention to body language. The things that are left unsaid are sometimes more important than the things that are said in the moment you pretend to listen course of everyday chit chat.


Do you know what your children did at school today? Do you know why the little old lady down the road plants a new rose bush each year even though she has a yard full always beautifully in bloom? When the last time you interacted enough to know that behind that beautiful smile was a heart hurting and lonely in a crowded room?


Thank you, Laurie. If you have not stopped by to see Laurie at Odds and Ends, today is a good day to do just that. She is a prolific writer, long time blogger, mother to someone I happen to think inherited her mother’s sass and someone I consider a friend.

The theme of this week’s guest posts is “interaction”. As always, guest bloggers are given the theme only with no prompting as to where to take it. Take a few moments to answer Laurie’s questions. I hope you have enjoyed this one as much as I have.

If you would like to do a guest post, please use the Ask Momma form. ~Red

Warning: Any comments of a political nature will be removed without notice.

© Red Dwyer 2012
Original post © Laurie Childree
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  1. Yes, come visit todays’ offensive rant is up!

    That short kid did inherit the sass, I can’t wait until she can put it in complete sentences! She’s going to the movies again today; yesterday the power got knocked out in the storm….is it sad this is the highlight of my day?
    Laurie recently posted..Eliminating the NegativeMy Profile

  2. I ignore my neighbors until they piss me off (haha j/k)
    Bearman recently posted..The Balding HandbookMy Profile

  3. I think there is a continuing trend toward less and less respect for each other. This kills destroys interaction between people. How can you interact with someone you just told to F off because you disagreed with them?

    We need to learn to respect each other again, and then maybe we can start to interact again, and maybe if that happens, we can stop killing.
    MJ Logan recently posted..The Sixth Day of ChristmasMy Profile

    • Good point! Respect seems to be lacking everywhere.
      Laurie recently posted..Eliminating the NegativeMy Profile

    • I am with you. So few people think respect is earned any longer. Fewer bother to earn it than ever.

      • It’s kind of funny and not funny that this posted today, and this morning some woman walked into the kids school making threats….she’s being charged with a felony. The kids though, they thought it was another drill, and the local PD had someone there all day.
        Laurie recently posted..Eliminating the NegativeMy Profile

        • PD was at school all day here as well. No direct threats we know of, but the school was locked down all day. At home, a teenager was arrested for threatening to blow up his school and kill a teacher today as well.

          • It’s like all the freaks are coming out of the woodwork. Monday was spent to increase security and today, it seems people are testing it.

            I’m not sure if it’s nice and comforting or scary as can be that the school has had plans and drills for this kind of thing for some time now. I’m going to go with comforting for sanity’s sake.
            Laurie recently posted..Eliminating the NegativeMy Profile

          • Remember when the lunatic fringe was the group that kept their children home because they thought it was safer? Yeah, so maybe they were onto something.

  4. Hi hun! 🙂

    The facebook button is where it’s supposed to be and I got the email OK! 🙂

    I now have a communication bar at the bottom of the page display which seems to be working OK too! 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Poorly sick and countdown to doomsday.My Profile

    • I have been playing with settings on my end. I must have tripped the wire. Thank you. I really like the share bar at the bottom 😉

  5. P.S: I’m using Chrome!!! 🙂
    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Poorly sick and countdown to doomsday.My Profile

  6. Interacting on the internet has really changed the way we spend time and see people, form being able to keep in touch with someone who’s moved far away, to being able to be friends with someone you would have never otherwise met. People will now text someone who’s a few feet away. I have no idea where it’s all going.
    Binky recently posted..100 Percent Natural CerealMy Profile

    • While for me, Internet communication is vital and a lifelong mode, the idea of texting someone across the room for anything other than to maintain silence (like me texting my mother during a funeral we both attended so we could both leave the room simultaneously to lower the disruption) is one which is lost on me. My children are not permitted to do it because I am quite certain they would otherwise lose the ability to speak. One of my daughters routinely texts 10K msgs a month, with a child and a full time job.

      • my fingers started cramping just reading that
        Laurie recently posted..Eliminating the NegativeMy Profile

        • The highest I think I have ever gotten has been about 7K, and that included a rash of multirecipient messages.

          • I don’t even text!
            I find it strange that people seem to have such a compelling need to communicate these days. I really don’t know if it’s good or bad, or where it might be going.
            Binky recently posted..Toy CommercialsMy Profile

          • Until two years ago, neither did I. I use so much communication in a day, it is hard for me to imagine not. It is not uncommon for me to have a text conversation with someone whilst on the tele (the same tele) with someone else and be reading an email from a third. I use mine mostly to multitask. I would hope it is going to a place where there is more communication, but as you can see from my comment to Andro on this post, I think it is unlikely more communication is actually taking place.

  7. I come to this post still healing and crying, but I am the eternal optimist. I don’t wear rose colored glasses, I see the reality of situations without denial, but I believe we are still teaching our children well. And if we are not, our children’s free will allow them to choose a different path for themselves in adulthood. I know I have chosen a different path from those who taught me. I can’t strive to be perfect, but I can allow my opinions and beliefs to change with each new experience and need. This is the potential I hold hope for for all of us.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..The Regret of a Flower – TrailerMy Profile

  8. This is a wonderfully written piece that speaks volumes. I have read everyone’s comments in reply, all of which have something worthwhile to offer and interaction is always welcomed on postings I find as it adds open dialogue and a chance to digest everything in a friendly atmosphere.

    In the days, weeks, months and years following such an horrific act of violence, it will only serve to bring awareness that life is precious and is always in the balance, but with such aggression and brutality there is always that edge of society that is quick to overlook the dangers, move away from the underlying problems and to reject a brighter way forwards.

    Eliminating some weapons from society will help but this is not feasible for all weapons and realistically this thought is rather impossible to police, however removing automatic and semi-automatic firearms is definitely a step in the right direction and of course better safeguards for all weapons as standard will be a much better idea for the future.

    Interaction and improved communication is also very important as this posting already suggests, indeed amplifies, and this is something that everyone can improve upon.

    The sadness and crushing thoughts of those parents, sisters, brothers and all family and friends as innocent children were so cruelly taken away from them is something that is impossible for me to fully comprehend, only the true life experiences of such horror can recognise this but my thoughts are with them.

    It is so upsetting to see this terrible sin erupt on our television screens, the media feeding on every story, greedily adding to the media frenzy, when privacy of family and friends is of the essence, it is a mad world my friend but we must try and remain positive for the future and one can only hope that common sense will prevail and that all the children will be safer as a result.

    I agree with you regarding the heroes of this ghastly act of violence as they will be lost in the mist of time but not forgotten my friend, they showed true heroism trying to save those children.

    That is all that I have to say on this one…


    • Thank you, and the heroes not being forgotten would be amazing. They are the ones that deserve recognition and rememberance.
      Laurie recently posted..Holiday Vacation Not Actually A VacationMy Profile

    • Andro, your wish for awareness is what I find lacking in this whole affair. Were this the first instance of such horror, I would be willing to agree with you we could walk away better people knowing we could teach our children how to prevent this. The fact remains, after more than 50 years of school violence of this exact nature, it is impossible to say as a society we have learnt anything.

      We willingly pass the buck and write off the instances as sad, unavoidable brushes with insane people, when in fact, the majority of these spree killers are no different than any other person whose depression or mental illness is left untreated or exacerbated by the society so self-absorbed to have missed the outcries which precede them.

      In fact, we continue to overlook our children as inconvenient reminders not everyone grows up to be a balanced, well-rounded adult, despite our best efforts. We continue to feel meeting the financial needs of the family as the primary focus of parenting, while we neglect the emotional care which creates adults who are capable of navigating society’s ill nature without resorting to such measures.

      Pardon the rant, but we are on our way to another post, my dear friend.

  9. I feel for the parents and families of the lost children and teachers. How impossible it is to get my head around who is before them now. I have no words…no language–there isn’t any for me–to even discuss this horror.

    How much crazier does the world need to get?
    Tess Kann recently posted..(3X) Flash in the Pan – FireMy Profile

  10. Cities are as safe as towns, what makes one place appear less safe than another are some of the people within that place.
    There is a growing disconnection between people within families and if it’s there between family members (relatives) it will most definitely be there amongst the community at large.

    How can people show and gain respect, if no communication and decent physical interaction is taking place?
    How can love be developed if we do not teach what Love is?
    People who have an absence of Love, are the ones who kill people.
    For that love to be developed things need to change… there needs to be…
    A change of attitude.
    A change of laws.
    A change of beliefs.
    A change of values.
    Phil recently posted..I ‘Like’ it.My Profile

    • I believe it is all learned behavior. As to the laws, keep that argument close to the vest as it is not welcome here.

      For me there is only one change which needs to be made: View those outside our skins as at least as valuable as we hold ourselves.


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