I can’t stop thinking about the devastation of Friday. I keep thinking about how much can change in just a day’s time. Arnauld and I spent our last few minutes before leaving for work Friday morning in the driveway discussing our plans for dinner-already looking forward to some quiet family time and the weekend. Yet by the time we were both home from work, the world was a very different place. All day at work, I felt like I was just watching the seconds inch by, eager to be home and surrounded by my own family. As I finally walked out of the school building I couldn’t help but notice the quiet-a quiet that seemed to whisper the magnitude of the day, a whisper that won’t stop running through my being. I have lived through some horrific days, this my first as a parent. It is always so hard to imagine tragedy-happening to someone else far far away. Yet Friday happened so close to home in a setting so close to my every day reality and impacted people that I know personally. My heart is broken like so many others and I’m left wondering how to keep moving forward with that sad sad whisper echoing everywhere I go.
I wrote these words nearly 5 years ago in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Over the past five years, I’ve read articles and seen video clips of how the families of all of those who lost loved ones on December 14, 2012 have started a movement to Choose Love, to forgive, and to bring light to the world. I marvel at their strength.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve read Holly McGhee’s picture book, Come With Me, to several fourth and fifth grade classes in order to spark a class discussion. Kids have chosen to discuss the traits of the little girl, why Holly didn’t name the girl, and of the overarching theme that small actions matter.
Yesterday, as I was walking out of a fifth grade classroom after our class discussion, the classroom teacher said, “I kind of want to keep talking about that. I’m thinking about the parents in that story. I actually think they’re really brave.”
In the story, a little girl who is frightened by the hatred she sees on the news, asks her parents how she can make the world a better place. They take her into the world and show her how to keep going and spread kindness. In the end, they send their little girl into the world on her own.
Today I’m thinking more about them as I think of the families of the Sandy Hook victims.
They are really brave.