Posted: Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
Like you, I had a hard time sending my kids to school today. Kissing them goodbye some mornings is easier than others. When we’re running late and everyone’s cranky? Easy. When we’ve had a morning of snuggles and cute breakfast table banter? Hard. This morning was pretty typical at our house– sibling fights, picky eaters, and unmatched sock meltdowns. But through it all, I found myself looking at my kids and thinking “Thank you”. Like all of us, I’d spent the weekend processing the details of the unthinkable Sandy Hook tragedy and this morning, pulling out that casual “Have a good day” and waving goodbye in the drop-off line at school was excruciating and terrifying.
And so, like many of you, today I rest on tears’ edge trying to get on with my day. To do my job, to get organized for the holidays, to not count the minutes until my children are back in my arms. And, like you, I’m also trying to make sense of the senseless. How do I talk about it? How do I think about it? What do I do?
None of us has answers to these questions, but here’s where I start.
First, as a mom, as a citizen of our country, and as the Editor-in-Chief of Education.com on behalf of our entire team, I’d like to send my deepest sympathies to the community of Newtown, Connecticut and especially to the families who lost loved ones on Friday. Our hearts are broken for you and we share in your immeasurable grief.
Next, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the incredible men and women who serve our children as teachers, administrators and staff in schools across our country. We’re lucky enough here at Education.com to see you on our site each day and to be inspired by your creativity, energy and hard work. But we sometimes lose sight of the fact that you are in fact heroes in the lives of our children. Thank you for all that you do.
Finally, I’d like to share some resources that I’ve found helpful in thinking through how I will talk to my children about this tragedy and how I will help them answer the impossible questions I’m grappling with myself. I hope these articles help you as well and I’d love for us to use this post as a forum to share other resources that might be helpful to our Education.com community.
Helping Children Feel Safe in Unsafe Times, NYU Child Study Center:
Media Exposure and Tragic Events, NYU Child Study Center:
10 Ways to Talk to Kids About Events in the News:
NEA Teacher Thank You Card (lets you design and email a thank you card to the teachers in your life):
Connecticut Elementary School Shooting: How To Help (a list of organizations participating in the relief effort for the families and community of Newtown):
Learning about these resources has helped ease my sense of helplessness a bit and I hope they do the same for you. But mostly what I’ll be doing in the days and weeks to come is hugging my kids just a little longer, dancing with them just a little more, and counting myself lucky each and every time.