A few years back I stood in the hallway with one of my students. He had forgotten his homework and he hadn’t been able to sit next to his best friend at lunch. “This is the worst day of my entire life!” he sobbed out through crocodile tears. I smiled and wiped the snot dripping from his nose. I gave him animal crackers and a hug and told him that everything was going to be all right. It was all right and I loved him because he was a child and so innocent and untainted by the world.
The alert appeared on my phone yesterday and I thought it must be some kind of mistake. Then another alert appeared and it was worse than the one before. I looked out at my students who were running around the playground throwing basketballs and pretending to be robots and wondered how anyone could kill children when there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to keep them safe.
Everything is not all right. I feel helpless and overwhelmed and I want to protect these children from the fear that is trying to infiltrate their world that should only ever be filled with robots and the kinds of bad days that can be fixed with a hug and some animal crackers. Everything is different now.
So I light candles and cry and mourn for the children in Newton. I say prayers for their teachers, families and communities. I wonder where we will go from here.
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”