I read the accounts of nine-year-olds talking about how policemen with big guns led them out of the school where their friends and playmates were senselessly murdered. I saw pictures of teachers leading their kids out of the school and I saw terror on faces as innocence was torn from them. I saw parents pacing, praying that their children were not part of today's fatalities.
I thought about my brother and sister, who are nine and twelve, and tried to wrap my head around the fact that there are now families in Connecticut that have stockings hung for children of the same ages with whom they will not spend Christmas.
I thought of my babies, the kids at the preschool where I worked and the kids in my student teaching assignments. I tried to put myself in the place of the teachers there, attempting to cope with their own grief, while staying strong for their own babies.
I wept. I sat at my desk and cried unbridled tears for parents that won't tuck their children into bed tonight. I offered up prayers for each and every one of those people affected by this incredible tragedy. I asked for forgiveness for being so consumed and thinking that my problems were so big. And I sent messages to my friends to tell them how much I love them, just in case I don't get the chance again.
In the face of tragedy, as there always is, people feel the need to make a point. They feel the need to point fingers and make statements and push agendas or platforms and tell the whole world that if they had just listened to their sound advice, this might not have happened. I can't believe that people think that this is okay.
Don't get me wrong. I hate guns. Gun control needs to be discussed. But today is not the day to hate on the NRA. It's also not the day to hate on people who want to lock things down.
It's not the day to be wagging your fingers at parents who send their children to public school, expecting that their children will be taken care of with people other than themselves; to tell them that if they care about their children's safety, they should homeschool.
It's not the day to be hating on the educational system and the people involved. The teachers and faculty had nothing to do with what happened today and most of us who have worked in education were physically ill by the news that we heard today.
Hate is what made today happen. Don't you think there's already been enough for one day? I don't have kids, but I feel like if I did, today would be the day to sit on the floor and color with your them or read them one more bedtime story. I feel like I would hug them and never stop, ever.
Love matters. I pray we don't forget that.