On Monday morning I woke up to my alarm and lay there, in the silence of my bedroom. Like every morning, I somehow end up with all three babies in my bed. My husband has long since gone to work and I am the parent that starts them on their day. My daughter usually ends up in the middle of the bed and my son replaces my husband on the “boys side”. On Monday morning his hand lay beside me though, his little arm outstretched over his sister and lightly grazing the inside of my wrist. I knew it was his little hand before I could open my eyes. Little boy hands have a tendency of being rough and unkept and his are no exception. My daughter was curled up into me breayhing into my hair and the baby was on the other side of me. I was touching all three sleeping babies at once and I immediately started the day off by crying.
I just cant help it. I don’t know about you, but I cant help but think about last Friday’s events with such heart brake. The reminder of babies around every day has been a blessing beyond description.
It could have been my own six year old that didn’t come home for the weekend. I am filled with such grief for the families affected that I cant get anything accomplished.
So I lay in bed feeling so guilty and so blessed to have three little breathing bodies there beside me. I feel that way often, but now it is with an uncontrollable surge of gratitude that I almost cry every time I look or touch them.
I lay there in the silence listening to the breathing and the snoring and the stuffed up noses inhaling and my mind suddenly began wondering what kind of excuse I could give this morning to keep my son home from grade one. I know many parents felt that same way on Monday morning. How could we not with something so random and evil happening to our most innocent. I tried to forget my feelings of anxiety that kept flooding over me every time I felt my sons little hand twitch on my arm as he began stirring awake.
Instead, I began praying for the families, the state of Connecticut and then for my child’s own school. My thoughts wandered to his teacher. The woman that spent more hours in a day with him then I did now. The woman who was constantly smiling, reassuring and using words like “hunny” and “sweetie” and “lovey” to describe and respond to my little ball of energy. The woman — that I barely know.
Some things you are certain of though. She is a gem. A woman you feel that loves your child immediately upon meeting them. I began thinking about what must be going through her own mind as she started her day back to school. I knew she would be busy getting her own children out the door for the day. Would she be apprehensive to sit in a classroom all day? Would she be mourning the loss of these children like I am? Then it dawned on me how much more every teacher in the world is relating to this loss then even any parent can.
Teachers know from day one that they are responsible for the lives of 20+ students for 8+ hours in a day. Literally more waking hours spent with these children then spent with their own families. Any teacher that heard the horror of last Fridays incident would immediately start questioning what they would do in such a horrific situation. They would look around their class room and start planning where they would hide the precious babies they are in charge of every day. They would hear the story of the loving teacher reading in the bathroom to her students to calm them and would relate with such anguish and fear.
These are the women and men that have felt a calling on their lives to invest into the next generation; they love our babies as much as we do. They know their idiosyncrasies and can picture every little expression they make in a day. They have so much pressure already on their minds to make sure our children succeed academically and now they have the fear and pressure of wondering what they would do to keep other peoples children alive and safe!
I woke my babies up tenderly and got them dressed and ready for school and then sat down to make a quick note to my sons first full time teacher.
I don’t even know what words I used as I quickly scrawled down the feelings I wanted to convey. I wanted her to know that I trusted her, that I was so thankful for how she loved on my child and how she displayed such kindness and warmth to my child daily. I wanted her to know that she was important and valued and that we would forever be grateful for all of the things she did and words she said that were influencing our sweet baby every day. I imagined my son hearing her voice for the last time in his life and knew that this woman would do anything for her students. It was then that I realized I couldnt help but dearly care for this woman; his teacher.
I stuffed the envelope in my sons batman backpack and kissed him way too many times goodbye. I then only worried about him a dozen times or so and counted down the minutes till I could run across the street and pick him up at the end of the day. I had no motivation to do anything Monday but to feel sorrowful and to await seeing my little boys messy hair and sweet smile.
I sprinted to school at pick up time and waited anxiously to see him.
I was confused when his teacher wanted to quickly speak to me upon seeing me; then I remembered the little love note I had slipped into my sons bag. She greeted me with a smile and then immediate tears flooded her eyes. Mine mirrored hers (against my will) and she hugged me quickly and tightly and told me my words had meant so much to her.
We both looked weepy and realized it was in public and then got all awkward. She may or may not have told me that it could be just PMS. In my graceful style, I literally tripped my son as I tried to bear hug him and run after him all at once. I am cool and collected like that.
It was only when I was walking home, grasping tightly to my sons little coarse hand that I realized how much fear and anguish all teachers must be going through right now. I have many teacher friends, but I have been consumed with how moms and dads are feeling in the midst of this evil, I didnt stop to think about what is going through our childrens caretakers minds.
Our dear teachers are so directly related on so many levels that I cant imagine how they would feel going into a classroom and staring into 20+ faces all day on Monday morning. They know what 20+ different faces look like and unlike their students who probably know nothing of last Fridays events, they can picture the scene and the faces.
I say all this only to encourage you to make sure that you thank your childs teacher. I mean really thank them. Christmas is a perfect time to do so. To tell them how much you appreciate their effort and the love they give your child on a daily basis. As parents we want our child to succeed so much! I know our child’s teacher must feel the same way, if not more! They want to be seen as someone that is able to help, to teach, to push, to inspire our little ones.
I know that all around the world we are all still grieving and we are reminded of the brave ones, as stories in the media emerge. As much as I tried to hide from the media coverage it wasnt possible. I now know the faces of the little angles and the heroes too.
Our children are taught by heroes every day.
These heroes care for our babies and want nothing more then to protect our innocent.
Have you let your babies teacher know how much you appreciate them, how you feel their pain and hope to rejoice in the positive progress your children make this year? We live in a time without thank you cards and taking a moment to speak love over someone. But you know what, we should!
I encourage you today, before our babies are on winter break and telling us how bored they are, that we should thank our children’s teachers for love and grace they show to our most important people; our babies and essentially the next generation.
I know so many of us are trying to focus on peace at this time and are praying for all involved. I know so many are focusing on prayerfull reflection and what truly matters in life.
I pray for peace worldwide every day. I have since my heart felt led to be involved in orphanages overseas when I was just a child myself. I know I am just me, and my words are small compared to the depth and vastness of this world we live in, but I know too that my words mean something to God, the Prince of Peace. At this point, that is all I can hold on to.
Wishing you, and yours and every one you meet peace and joy during this trying time for many.
I have been holding off on a post filled with happy smiles….but I think it is about time we see some baby innocence and some pure joy and contentment.
I cant wait to share with you some darling little girls tomorrow. I hope their pictures fill your heart with love.