Yesterday was the first day of spring break.
On Mondays, I like to get to work early to prepare for the week. Roost, my coworking space, has a new home in the Steel Yards. We live on the opposite side of town, in South Boulder, so my commute is about half an hour by bike. It’s a nice time to be alone with my thoughts.
Since the kids are out of school, Christina took them to the Museum of Boulder, where they spent hours in the Google Garage. She offered to bring me and Jace (a friend who’s in town) a late lunch from Shamane’s, my new favorite lunch spot. A little after 1:00, she texted:
Have to go all the way back to the museum because Riley left something.
It didn’t occur to me until later that Riley’s forgetfulness was a blessing in disguise, because my whole family was safe at Roost when we first heard the news: there was an active shooter at King Soopers, our local grocery store.
Close to home doesn’t fully capture the emotion, but I can’t think of anything better.
Although it was only yesterday, I don’t remember too much about the first few hours. It was all so surreal. There were tears. Updates came rapidly and in many forms. I was so thankful that my family wasn’t home, or worse, dropping by King Soopers on the way home—a scenario that’s so likely it’s terrifying. (The kids love any excuse to do so.)
Christina was responding to all the incoming texts from friends and family who wanted to know we were safe. It became clear pretty quickly that this was national news. I used Twitter to let everyone know we were safe at Roost on the other side of town, and we planned to stay until it was safe to go home.
Christina is active in the local chapters of Mom’s Demand and Everytown, and she had a meeting about what was happening. I set up a computer in one of the meeting rooms for her and set up Netflix in another room for the kids. I walked to Fresh Thymes to grab some dinner. The kids watched Waffles + Mochi. It was the best we could do to make things feel normal for them.
Once Christina’s meeting was over, we decided to try to make our way home. It was difficult to determine if the roads near our house were still closed, but at least it was safe. Christina took Riley in the car, and I took Tegan and Killian in the bike. She called as I was getting close to the scene—police were telling her there was no way to get home. I offered some additional suggestions for routes to try, and we hung up, hoping we’d all make it home safely.
The bike path pops out on Table Mesa, just west of the closed intersection. I had planned to go around, avoiding as much as possible, but we were blocked in. Knowing how much trouble Christina was having, I decided the best way to get home was the one way I wanted to avoid—biking right by King Soopers. What seemed like hundreds of emergency vehicles of various sorts were all flashing their lights. The front of the store was destroyed. The gravity of the situation was clearer to the kids than it had been all day.
Safe at home, all five of us in one bed, kids crying. Christina checked in on a handful of parents, so she could reassure the kids that their friends were safe.
Helicopters overhead woke us before the kids this morning. Our little neighborhood is on the front page of every major newspaper in America.
Christina had a planning meeting for a vigil being held this Thursday at Fairview High School, after which she and the kids brought flowers to all the shops at Table Mesa they could get to.
All of the people in the shops we dropped off flowers to were so grateful and so emotional.