Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm hugging my kids harder these days.

How many posts have I started since Friday, either on the laptop or in my head, regarding the tragic killings in Connecticut?  Nothing sounds right.  I've backspaced more in the past half hour in the writing of this post, than I probably have since starting this blog 4 years ago.  There are just no words for something like this, so I'll just continue to pray for the comfort and healing of the survivors, the school, the parents and children, the community, and our nation as we continue to try to digest and understand something so impossible to understand.

A facebook friend wrote today of how her daughter's teacher would be like those teachers in Newtown that sacrificed their own lives to try to shelter and save their students.  So I thought of my own kids' teachers.  All 7 of them.  (Lexi has 5 teachers, 3 in Early Childhood and 2 at Parent's Day Out)  And yes, I am certain that all of my kids' teachers would put themselves between my child and danger.  I look back at the teachers my kids have had in past years and other staff at the school that I've met, and I feel the same.  It was still tough putting my kids on a bus this morning, but it sure makes it easier knowing that they are going to a school with staff and teachers like this.  I was raised by 2 teachers, and when I was growing up, I was surrounded and loved by all my parents' closest friends who were teachers.  My mother-in-law was a teacher and my sister-in-law is a teacher.  And I am absolutely certain that all of these teachers that I love so much, would protect a child in their class just as they would their own children at home.

I've been attending the church where Alexis attends Parent's Day Out for over a year now.  I've gotten to know a few people, primarily through the preschool that is there, but it's a big church, so I still feel fairly anonymous when I walk into that large congregation by myself.  I feel comfortable there.  I usually scramble into the sanctuary moments before the service starts and get out of there quick to pick up the kids from Sunday School.  Since the kids don't sit with me in the service, I actually get to hear the sermon.  Kinda nice.  This past Sunday the associate minister was preaching, and it was emotional as we all tried to understand the tragedy.  One of the things the pastor mentioned was reaching out to those people who are "on the edge".  When the service was over, within fractions of a second, before I even had grabbed my purse and turned to leave, I felt an arm around my shoulders and a very kind woman who I've never seen before, was complimenting me on my dress, my hair, and how nice it was to see me.  She hugged me.  Twice.  And then an older gentleman came over and shook my hand.  Before I was out of the sanctuary, 4 people I'd never met or even seen before had stopped to greet me.

I almost giggled to myself, wondering if I look like I'm "on the edge."  (I assure you, I'm not.)  I think really it's just people trying to make sense of the Connecticut shootings and trying to show more kindness...trying to reach out to others.  I left feeling hopeful, that even with these heinous events that we will never be able to make sense of, that it will make us want to be a little kinder, hug a little longer, love a little deeper, and pray a whole lot harder. 

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