I made a deal with myself today to let my brain take a break and to be guided instead by my inner knowing, even if I ended up at the pizza parlor when I was trying to get to the dentist’s office. This experiment was to help me get back in touch with my writing voice, after several weeks away. And it would normally be quite safe and simple, since my usual day only takes me around and around my living room, and once to the mailbox.

But today I got a call from my son’s school saying that my son had been shot with a BB gun. Two weeks ago, on a school trip. A child has apparently been bringing this gun to school and shooting kids in parks etc., but they only found out today when the gun was seen inside the school.

So I ask my child why he never told me, and he says, predictably, that he was threatened that he’d be shot again if he told. “That would be four times, Mom. And it hurt.” Four times? It turns out three separate children shot him with the same gun in the same incident. They shot, it seems, “a lot of kids.” None of whom told.

My inner knowing doesn’t know what to do with this. Nor does my brain. How can it be that my son doesn’t assume I can protect him? And what if he is right?