The only word I can think of to truly reflect my feelings. What happened in Connecticut last Friday. Awful. Terrible. Horrific. Senseless.
Many bloggers are going silent today out of respect for the families whose lives were ripped apart last week. I contemplated if I should mention the tragedy or if I should keep the blog all about food and post what I already had scheduled for today. In the end, I decided what I just cannot post what I had originally scheduled.
I’d written about being home for the holidays and memories of baking cookies with my mom. I just can’t find a way to post those memories when my heart, an elementary school teacher’s heart, is breaking. I’m not a mom and I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to get that terrifying call about your child’s school. I cannot fathom the terror a parent would feel waiting to find out if they will tuck their child in that night. I can’t.
What I can understand is the love those teachers showed when they protected their students. Please do not mistake what I am saying. I am in no way trying to diminish the heroic efforts of those Connecticut teachers in keeping their students calm and safe. I’m attempting to do the opposite. You see, as a teacher, I understand the tremendous love we have for our students. In fact, I don’t even call the children I teach my students. I call them my kids. My. kids. I know I did not give birth to them. But they are my kids and I love each and every one of them for the unique gifts, talents, and quirks they bring to my classroom and my life. I don’t even want to think about their innocence being shattered by an event like the one in Connecticut. I am 100% certain the teachers in Connecticut felt the same way. I am amazed, humbled, and brought to tears to think I have anything–anything–in common with the individuals who sang songs, read stories, hid their children, and lost their lives trying to keep those sweet babies safe. Am I amazed and brought to tears by the tremendous and selfless efforts of those teachers? Completely and absolutely. Am I shocked? No. Because that is how teachers feel about their students. We love them and would do anything to protect them from harm.
So am I silent today? I guess not. Because I’m sad. I’m hurt. I’m bewildered and stunned and confused. But I know one thing for sure. When I see my kiddos’ sweet faces this morning, I’ll be hugging each and every one of them and fighting back tears of gratitude that I have that privilege. I’ll be praying for God to keep my students, my school, and my community safe. I’ll be praying, as I have since Friday, that God watches over all the children, parents, teachers, and school personnel who will walk on to a school campus Monday feeling shaken from the safety they felt when they did the same thing just three days ago. More than anything, I’ll be praying for those parents and families whose lives were ripped apart last week. I’ll be asking God to watch over them and bring them peace as they try to make sense of something so senseless.