I am a mom of a six year old – a kindergartner. The reality that the school shooting on Friday was my son’s entire class (just at a different school) has not been lost on me. Nor has the reality that I could send my kids off on the school bus and on any given day they may not come home.
I am a mom who is now terrified by how little control we truly have over the safety of our children. Just last week I wrote about a recent study which confirmed that anxiety ridden parents are translating that fear to our children. Yet when something as unthinkable the tragedy in Newtown takes place, how can we not be afraid to let our children out of our sight? How can we create independent children when deep down we are terrified to send them to school, to what should be the safest of places?
These past few days have presented such a wide range of emotions. I have put on a brave face for my children. I have shut off the sadness to celebrate a close friend’s daughter at her bat mitzvah. And I have cried, many times. I cried while holding my kids, while watching them sleep, while watching the news, while reading the commentary and while I lay awake at night. My tears mourn the loss of those beautiful children and the educators who tried to save them. My heart breaks for their families whose lives have been irreparably broken.
While I wish more than anything that this tragedy had never occurred, it was a chance to remind my kids once again that violence is never the answer. There is always, always another way out – another way to make things better or to find a resolution. This was another reason to open the dialogue and to remind my children that they can talk to us about anything.
This is also an opportunity to thank the teachers and administrators at my children’s school, for caring about their education, their safety and their well-being. I will not forget that the school shooting on Friday truly was my son’s entire class, just at a different school. I will keep those children and their families in my thoughts and honor the educators who were lost by taking the time to thank my children’s teachers for their dedication. I hope you will consider doing the same, because all educators deserve our thanks – especially now.
To all of those who have dedicated their careers to the education, safety and well-being of our children, thank you a million times over.