Sunday, December 16, 2012

Heavy Heart

So, it has been two days.
Two days since 26 innocent people lost their lives.
Two days since 26 sets of parents had to hear the horrifying news that their precious matter their age...were taken from them way too early.

You know that this is not normally the kind of post you find here on my sweet little blog. But to be honest, for the past two days my heart has been so heavy. I am not normally one to get wrapped up in political, religious, acts of violence news or anything of the nature.

But...this is different.
Different for so many reasons.

I have to admit...I heard the news when I was checking my Facebook my classroom...right before our lunch break. I know. I'm not supposed to be on Facebook at work. Many of you are probably judging and going, "'re supposed to be teaching and instead you are checking your Facebook page. That's just one of the things that are wrong with teachers."
It was 5 minutes until lunch. If you have ever been in a classroom you know that nothing is getting accomplished the 5 minutes before lunch. During those 5 minutes everyone's eyes are fixed on the clock...just waiting for it to get there.

So, yes, I was checking my Facebook. People were posting left and right about some school shooting in Connecticut. Lunch time came. It was time to celebrate with 6 second graders that had earned a special pizza lunch with the second grade teachers. During the entire lunch my mind was wondering what had happened in Connecticut.

Six darling second graders finished their pepperoni and cheese pizzas, reindeer decorated juices, peppermint cookies, and were off to enjoy a few minutes of recess. Me. Well, I went straight to my computer to pull up any news article with info about what was happening in Connecticut.
You see, as a teacher, we spend most of our day in a bubble. Not knowing, really, what is going on in the world around us. What I learned gave a whole new meaning to the sweet text message sent by my mother-in-law earlier in the day that read, "Thinking of you, Sweetie--and all of your little kids, teachers, and staff. What a sad, sad day. We love you!"

I had just finished reading the news when...the lunch bell rang.

Time to go pick up the 28 children that I spend my days with. Days filled with stomachaches, broken pencils, lost jackets, trips to the Book Faire, lunches left at home, parents upset about their child's grades, runny noses, "ah-ha" moments when a new concept clicks, parents upset that you gave their child a PR point, name-calling, math facts, reading stories, parents that won't pull forward in the parking lot, learning how to be a citizen of good character, parents accusing you of not "liking" their child, no lunch due to a rainy day, video announcements, adorable hand-drawn cards that say, "Best Techr Ever!," vocabulary words, pencil sharpeners falling and sending a confetti of pencil shavings all over your floor...and love.

I know it has only been two days.
But the feeling is chilling to me.
The moment we came back in to class. Just like we have so many times before. But this time was different. Different because this time I was standing in front of my room, looking at the 28 faces, children, lives, futures that were all looking back at me. I put myself in the shoes of the teachers in Connecticut.

The horror.
The pain.
The fear.
I cannot even begin to imagine it.

I need to stop and say...making it very clear...I am in no way, shape, or form trying to make this horrific event about me...because obviously it isn't.

Here is the thing.
I have spent the last nine years of my life surrounded by first and second grade kids. I spent seven years in a classroom that is the first room you come to when you enter our indoor hallway. A room that has a door adjoining it to the room next door...another room that is filled with young lives. I have a connection as a teacher. A connecton that in my mind is much too strong and much too similar.

You all know that I have an amazing 2 year old son that is everything to me.
My world.
I have a connection as a mommy.

I don't understand it.
I don't understand how someone could do what that young man did.
I cannot imagine the pain that rips through the heart of a parent who will never again get to hug their sweet, precious, child.
I cannot imagine being in my classroom and trying to frantically save all of those lives. The lives that are the world to 29 sets of parents and families.
What I do know is that I have a new found appreciation of the pencil shaving confetti that is sure to cover at least one part of the floor in my classroom on Monday morning. How I won't let the frustration of broken pencils, lost crayons, misplaced library passes, water bottle leaks, and the never ending supply of papers with no name on them get to me. least not as much. :)
Unfortuantely it is times like this that force us to stop.
Stop and appreciate what we have.
Don't let this moment go by too fast.
Don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle in a week or two and forget.
Don't ever take the people in your life for granted


  1. I can't stop crying, every moment this weekend has been filled with horrific thoughts and somehow, at the same time, complete gratitude for the safety of my own 5 and 7-year-olds and each and every moment I have to spend with them.
    Hugs and "I Love You"'s have an even stronger meaning.
    Thank you for your very heartfelt post.

  2. beautifully written, kristin. thank you so much for sharing your heart... you definitely have a front row seat and special perspective as a teacher and a mommy. your students are SO lucky to have you- i know since i got to watch you in action... you are the best.
    such a horrific tragedy that has touched us all... and no, it isn't directly about you, but it most definitely effects you in a lot of ways. so love those kids all the more because of what happened... something good should come from all that loss.