Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Have a Kindergartner

I have a kindergartner. My Josie is 6. There was a Josephine in the classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary who was killed. She was 6.

And I can hardly process it.

I can only imagine her mother. I can see her how I would be, or so I think and hope to never go there. Lost, hollow, so sad, and angry.

In light of all that has happened since Friday, I feel like I should respond and take a minute to show respect for these innocent children and teachers who had to endure the most awful thing I can think of, as a former teacher and now mother. As a teacher, you are trained to keep your kids safe, practicing fire and disaster drills, locking down if necessary, never once thinking you'd use these skills.

As a mother, you send your sweet six year old bouncing to the bus, lunch box in hand, praying only that she is kind and good and eats her carrots and clementine, saving the dessert for last, because you want her to grow up big and strong and healthy, never once thinking the unthinkable. Never once wondering about her basic safety, her protection against a "bad guy," because those are just things she talks about from bad dreams.

This is a nightmare, but is reality.

A lot of chatter has been out there, in conversations at family birthday parties this weekend, on Facebook, in the newspaper, that our country is going to hell in the hand basket (excuse the phrase). But, I don't think it's the country. I don't think it's necessary the legislation, or the President, or the gun buyer or seller (I'm not getting political...just hear me out). I think it's mankind. At the core of humankind are innately selfish, jealous, entitled, and confused feelings, and if led down a path, or not allowed to feel loved and accepted and cared for, by a parent, by the love of friends, by the belief that God loves them for who they are, things like this can occur, and, tragically, be acted upon. I pray for this young man who did this, but frankly, have a lot of anger towards him, and it wasn't even my kid, or my school where this occurred.

While we all have hugged our kids and family members tighter, thinking about the unopened Christmas gifts for the lost little ones under the tree or, as our President spoke of, the bright futures that are now extinguished, I ask you to not just love your children and family, but teach them to be good in the world, to do good in the world. To understand other people's feelings, to love unconditionally, and know that they can do great things, even if they seem small in the grand scheme.

I love my children fervently, especially in times such as these, and will enjoy the holidays with them, surrounded by cousins and grandparents and family, but I will continue to pray that the mothers, especially the mother of Josephine, and hope that they will be able to find some joy in light of something that has been so awful, I can hardly get my head around it, and I'm not even there. When my kids have questions, I will answer them, but I will also continue my plight to fight against the innate tendencies of humankind, and teach my kids to be kind, loving and generous, and hope that other parents will too, and that nothing like this will ever have to be addressed again.

God bless you all.

1 comment:

  1. This morning, at about the time you posted this, I cried myself awake. I have a first grader. My son, Noah, is 7 years old. A little boy named Noah was among the first graders who died at Sandy Hook. I can't stop thinking about if this horrible tragedy had occurred at my son's school...what if it had been my Noah?

    Then, when he awoke, I crawled in bed with him and held him tight, thanking God that I have another day with him.

    I agree with you and have shared the same thoughts since hearing of this school shooting. It's not about the guns or the gun laws, or what we allow or disallow in our country. No amount of legislation, of any kind, can change what is in the hearts and minds of human beings. It cannot change their core. The only thing we can change is how we treat others, and how we raise and what we teach our children. And we can do our best to raise human beings with sound minds, pure hearts, and solid, loving cores, who go on to do the same, for generations. Laws don't change mankind; people do.

    "It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult...Choose your words wisely."