There I was, thinking it’s been a while since I’ve had anything I wanted to write about. Then I read the news while at work – at a school – and that ‘issue’ changed. What happened today is my absolute worst nightmare as a teacher, but more importantly, as a parent. I can’t begin to image the scene and aftermath in Connecticut. How I wish we could go back a day, and I could just continue to have writer’s block.
I’m not going to pretend I know all the facts, so I won’t write about them; in fact, I had to turn off the news because it just got to be too much for me to handle. All I know is that what happened in that school has caused me to question my own safety while at work (How does one prepare for such a situation? How would I react? Pretty sure I’d be bawling in a corner.), worry endlessly about my boys while they are at preschool (or in public in general – I’m seriously considering building a gigantic bubble and quarantining them until they are 30), angrily consider why anyone feels the need to have a gun OR believes that guns aren’t responsible for deaths in this country (and that’s all I’ll say about that…), and feel shaken to the core, asking how any higher being could allow such a senseless act of violence to take such innocent kids away forever (There is no acceptable justification for it. None.).
It is what it is, and I can’t do anything about it, aside from cry and grieve for the unbearable loss of the families, teachers, and community members involved. I don’t understand how we’ve gotten to a place in our lives where we’ve seen so much violence, especially in our schools. Where did we go wrong? What can we do to stop it and ensure future generations can go to school and simply worry about who to ask to the dance or if anyone notices their newest zit? The good old days appear to be gone.
Tonight, like every other parent, I hugged my kids like crazy. I bit my tongue when their antics would normally have made me snap. I let them stay up late so we could have a family movie/cuddle night. And, as if they instinctively knew I needed some major mommy-kid lovin’, they both readily obliged. My Ethan braided my hair and ate every bite of his dinner without a fuss AND told me I looked pretty today. My Jack got right in my face, stared quite seriously at me, grabbed my cheeks with his chubby hands, and kissed me.
They just about sent me over the edge with love and thankfulness. In honor of those sweet kids who died today, I will cherish my own kids, and also my students. How lucky we are to have another day together.