This morning I drove my two daughters and my son to school.
Most mornings, we scramble to make sure everyone has the right hats and mitts and boots and indoor shoes and permission slips signed. Most mornings are frantic and messy—especially this past Friday; the kids left for school after I argued with them. I felt terrible about how I sent them to school. I felt even worse as the news reports, tweets, and Facebook updates started coming in with the news from Newtown. We fought. We raised voices. We fought on Friday; the last words we exchanged before I sent them down the street to school were angry words.
Today, we got up a few minutes early. We sat and had cupcakes together—special treat, just for today. We talked about wonderful things—there are only 5 more sleeps until my kids get to go and see their aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and WALT DISNEY WORLD for the very first time. I put on my hat and boots and and coat and piled the kids into the car. I drove them the block-and-a-half to school—special treat, just for today.
I pulled up through the roundabout and the teacher volunteer opened the door to let the kids out.
“Thank you,” I said. “Just thank you. For what you do. For all that you do.”
I watched their three backpacks walk into the front doors of their elementary school and I drove home, without them.
This is how I am able to send my three babies to school today. Because I know that the three special educators with whom I leave my children between the hours of 9am and 3:15pm every day will do every single thing in their power to protect my children when they don’t have their mama bear there to protect. They care about my children, they love my children. If my children are sad, they work to make them happy. If they are hurt, they help tend to their wounds.
Today at 3:15pm I will stand outside the school and I will wait to give my three children giant bear hugs and to walk the block-and-a-half home from school while I hear about the wonderful, funny, silly, great things that happened today.
And I will feel lucky. So, so lucky.
And I will reconsider my teacher gifts, because somehow a Starbucks gift certificate just doesn’t seem enough right now.
On Friday, I heard the news that this tragedy hit a little bit too close to home. A lovely, lovely blog friend spent most of the day on Friday waiting for news about her nephew Noah Pozner, a kindergartener at Sandy Hook Elementary School. When I heard later in the day that he was among the children who had died that day, my heart was broken for Victoria and for her entire family. And of course, for all of the other aunts and mothers and cousins and siblings and grandparents and uncles and friends who lost loved ones on Friday. I can’t make sense of it. Truthfully, I am having a hard time making sense of anything right now.
But I know that I want to help in any way I can, including spreading the word about #LoveForNoah.
For information on how you can help, please click here.