Thoughts From The Bus Stop

It’s difficult to explain how I felt sending my kids off to school today,  just 3 days after the tragedy in that elementary school in Newtown. I felt anxiety and fear for their safety. I felt heartache for the parents who would never get another chance to tell their little ones “have a good day” as they board the bus. I felt SO very lucky that my kids are all safe and sound. And I felt saddened and angry to know that things in our country have even come to this. I’ve had a sinking feeling all day. And I don’t think it will go away until they are back at home with me. I’m certain every parent in the country feels the same way today.

I’m not religious. I don’t pray very often. But I prayed to God to keep them safe as I watched the bus drive away this morning. I’ve prayed a lot these past few days. For the teachers who died shielding their students from danger. For the teachers who stayed calm and read to their students or told them “I love you” as the chaos raged outside their doors. For those 20 sweet angels who must have been terrified in the last moments of their lives. For their parents who woke up the next morning to find empty beds in their kids’ rooms. For the first responders who witnessed things nobody should ever have to see. For the kids who survived and have had their innocence taken away. What they are all going through is positively unbearable. My heart is broken for them.

I sent messages to my boys’ 1st and 3rd grade teachers over the weekend, just to let them know that we’re thinking of them through all of this, and hoping they’re not too shaken up. I also thanked them for taking such good care of our kids and reassured them that I know my boys are in good hands with them. Their responses back to me were agonizing. This has hit WAY to close to home for them.

I won’t get political about things here today. I won’t rant about my feelings on gun control and mental health care in America. I won’t carry on about all the things that are wrong with our social culture. But I will say that I hope this tragedy brings some major positive changes to our country. I think we can all agree that something’s got to give here. We ALL need to re-evaluate how we treat others, how we are raising our children, and whether or not we value their safety above everything else. We cannot let coping with the latest tragic school shooting become our new normal. Let’s remember how we feel today…and do everything in our power to make sure we never have to feel this way again.

Wishing the people of Newtown, Connecticut comfort and strength…

Comments

  1. I think we are all holding our kiddos a little tighter today. I hope that some positive changes will come after our country has had time to grieve and heal.

  2. I thought about how difficult I must be for the kids having to return to school following this disgusting act. Sooo sad! Andrea @ http://www.be-quoted.com

    • In our case it was easier for the kids than for the parents. I don’t think the kids fully grasp what happened. (Mine don’t really know all the details). My 1st grader’s teacher e-mailed today and said not one child brought it up today…so they didn’t even talk about it.

  3. beautiful in every way Marie, thank you.

  4. I have one daughter who is 4 and I can’t IMAGINE how those parents are feeling right now! I hurt for them. I am angry for them. Such an unfortunate tragedy. Love this post.

    • Thanks so much. I know what you mean. It’s such a mixture of emotions even from across the country. It must be unbearable for those parents. I’ve been counting my blessings, that’s for sure.

  5. I’m grateful that my kids are off-track until January, so I have a bit longer to work through my feelings. Are you going to send snowflakes:

    Here is an email from the National Parent Teacher Association. They asked for our help at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is what they said:

    Welcome Students to a Winter Wonderland

    When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA.

    Please send all snowflakes and donations to:
    Connecticut PTSA
    60 Connolly Parkway
    Building 12, Suite 103
    Hamden, CT 06514

    I really like this because my kids can help without me needing to tell them what happened. No, I didn’t tell them. Instead we went over what to do if it happens at their school. just like fire drills and earthquake drills. I hated every minute of it. I have those same feelings of loss, helplessness, disbelief that something like this could ever happen that you seem to be having.
    I’m sorry.
    ♡ Jill

    • I absolutely LOVE this idea! We talked about it at the dinner table tonight and decided we’re going to send 26 snowflakes. Like you said, it’s so great because our kids can contribute without having to focus on the horrific part of the story. Thanks for the sweet comment…it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my feelings.

  6. Well said..Thank you for sharing.. Found you through SITS. I just posted about this this morning. It truly breaks my heart and saddens me. I’m over at http://www.theredheadedprincess.com

    Jess

  7. Being a mom to 5 children, I can relate. Our kids are no longer in the public school system as we home school them; however, I can feel the fear surrounding many parents. It is a sad and sick world sometimes. I do not understand how anyone could harm innocent children like that. We shared a poem on our website about this as well. I hope you like it: http://pinchincents.com/blog/in-loving-memory-sandy-hooks-elementary-2012/

  8. I don’t even have any children to put on a bus yet and I can’t imagine even letting my little girl travel alone, who is only 11 months, with her grandparents right now. I am so over-protective since this event. 🙁

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