Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.
Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today.
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning.
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspect that we will see many changes in either in the coming months, or even years. It just doesn't make for good politics ...or political fund-raising efforts. And everyone knows if it's not good for makin' money, then it's not good for society. (Duh.)
In the end, the fact remains that almost 30 families are grieving tonight over the loss of a loved one. Many more families will begin the process of trying to explain to their own school children what happened today, and why. There is no acceptable answer to why. The natural cycle of life and death are difficult enough to face without having to face it because of unnecessary violence. The evil that can arise from human ego is senseless. I'm deeply saddened by the hurt and destruction it can cause our world.
When faced by such horrible tragedies such as this, even as a Mom who is so far removed from the direct effects, it's hard to move forward without fear. It's hard to go on with normal day-to-day life without pausing to ask "But what if?" Living life in fear is not living. No one should expect to have to live in fear of violence from others, especially our children.
When Monday rolls around I will once again pack lunches, backpacks, and send my girls off to school. I'm sure I will hold them just a little longer before I let them walk out the door, and then I myself will head to school. I will still trust that they, and I, will be safe and cared for by the amazing adults with whom they spend their days. I wish I could say that with 100% certainty...sadly that's not possible today.