Friday, December 14, 2012

Kindergarten Babies

I just realized it, I am more than just sad for the senseless tragedy in Connecticut.
I am mourning, and I need someway to share these heavy thoughts and feelings that overwhelmed me, as soon as I read the horrific news.

Death sometimes will get to me, mass death gets to me even more. But, the death of our babies...I can't separate myself from that. Because I was a teacher and I am a counselor, both at elementary schools.

As I have traveled far and near, I have never seen a barren Kindergarten class. They all are colorful and full of vibrant life. There are not many quiet Kindergarten classes. I mean, how can there be? Because the babies are still young and they shout out answers and giggle and sob because we have not taught them to mask their emotions. If a Kindergartner feels someway about something, well you will know! They don't understand what being a "grown-up" is. Kindergarten classes are a place of profound growth and being in a group. Most of them have tables instead of desks. Because children are leaning very important social skills along with academics. It makes me smile, because I bet if you had the chance, you would have gotten to know some sweet, rambunctious, and kind children in that classroom.
* Note- They also like to dance and move their bodies. A wiggle break aka dance party is a must for many of our babies to get them through the day:)*

When you walk in a Kindergarten class, well if they know you, be ready for hugs and that order. Wait, scratch that, because they do not have to really know you. The babies are welcoming, because there is no other way to be for them. You can expect to gain their absolute attention with a kind smile. Make them an offer and they will trust you to do as you say. And please oh PLEASE don't disappoint them! They don't understand being fake and just making promises that you have no intention of keeping.
*Note- I pray the parents and families involved will one day find hope in the fact that those precious Kindergarten children knew that they were loved. There is not even a question in the minds of children that age, that you could not love everybody. That is a small ray of sunshine among the torrential downpour.*

What about a Kindergarten teacher? She/He is a very special type of educator. The ones I have met, have infused absolute dedication and love of learning with amazing creativity and talent. They decode crunched up, scribbly sentences. They embrace children who are distraught, because they lost their turn at centers. And if we will admit it, they probably have gotten "looks" about choosing to educate our smallest babies. But, there passion remains unphased.

So, I guess I am in mourning, because a crazy person decided that today he was going to literally kill such innocence.  I am tearful, because our precious, precious little babies had to experiences moments of pain, and confusion. I cry out, because it is a parent's absolute nightmare to know that not only must they bury their small child. But, that they could not be there with them at the end. I cannot fathom the pain and anger and sorrow. It is too much to carry alone and I pray for all of the support that the community will need now and for years to come.

An elementary school has always been assumed to be a safe place. And I still agree with that. I was talking with my mother and she was trying to imagine any ways to increase safety at our elementary schools. We discussed some ideas....but you know what? The truth is that each of us, is one evil, selfish person away from tragedy  People have access to all sorts of things. People are mentally unstable, and very, very angry or very, very sad, or a tragic combination of emotions. I believe it's only by God's grace that so many of us do experience such safe lives. But, don't be lulled into complacency or be terrified into hiding.

Instead, be serious about your life. And be very thankful! If there are estranged people in your life, see this as a chance to forgive. Now would be a fantastic time to get help with addictions. Can we all just try even harder to find our purpose? To stop walking around numb to life. Or, if you must be numb, can you stop dragging others down with you? Can we calm the needless drama and desperate search for things that will not in any way bring us fulfillment? Can we take responsibility and mend what we have broken? Can we even just admit that we have broken parts of ourselves that need some fixing?

Ok, I'm rambling now. And you might have been thinking that for a while now;) I am no preacher, but I will end with this. There is hope, that though some man meant it for evil today, those babies eternal lives are taken care of by a God who personifies love. And if you don't know him, or don't walk with him anymore, or whatever the case may be. At least take some moments of serious thought. God is not far off, if you are searching for him.

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