I was at the Mall on Friday, tidying up the Canstruction® event and waiting for my son’s class to come and see it. His school was so excited to be a part of this regional event, they sent the entire school, class by class, to see the sixth grade class’ entry and to bring canned food for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and The Queens Galley of Kingston.
They seemed to be running a little late, so I called the school to see if they had left yet. Apparently, they had and to chants of ‘Canstruction®, Canstruction®’ no less.
Waiting, I straightened out the flyers for the Dutchess County Arts Council, and Canstruction® and the other organizations we were helping to promote during the event. As I did, a woman came out of Old Navy and had just answered her phone. I saw the look on her face and unfortunately it is a look we have seen far too many times. It is the look of someone learning of a tragedy. I wasn’t that close to her but I could hear her say, crystal clear, ‘what school, where?’ My heart sank, something happened at a school, but that’s all I gathered.
I found myself now anxiously waiting to see my son. I just wanted to see him. I actually felt the class enter the mall. The energy shifted and I knew they had arrived. Kids bring with them such a force of energy – big, bright and engaging. I went to meet them and there he was; full of light, smiling and running to hug me.
After the kids walked through the event, I had to put him back on the school van. I really wanted to keep him with me, just because I enjoy being with him, but I figured he should finish the school day. The parent chaperone answered her phone, I saw the same look that the Old Navy woman had, and the parent said to me ‘did you hear what happened?’ I said ‘no’ and she told me what had happened early that morning in Connecticut. It made my desire to keep Caidin there with me even more poignant, but I sent him back to school.
As this weekend has unfolded, I’ve found myself thinking about lessons learned and what the tragedy at Sandy Hook has illuminated for us.
There is a hoax letter attributed to one little boy that states he wrote this while hiding from the shooter saying, ‘I’m sorry I haven’t been a good son…’
Although the letter was a hoax ( Snopes: Newtown Rumors) I know Caidin feels like this sometimes especially when he disappoints us, or does something wrong. I suppose it’s natural, but as parents, it is still a reminder that our children should always know that mistakes are part of growing up; that frustration is part of life, but none of it means that we don’t love or appreciate them. Kids feel guilty and upset with themselves and most of them hold that inside. They don’t want to disappoint us or do things wrong. They want to understand. They need to know that trial and error is a part of life. We all make mistakes, but it doesn’t make us bad and it in no way means we don’t love them or that we don’t know that they try each and every day to do the right thing.
This is a reminder that every moment counts. We should strive to take no moment for granted and we should keep in our minds and our hearts the awareness that we can never know what our last words will be; so to be gentle and loving in choosing all of our words.
This is a reminder that our teachers are more than just teachers. They are guardians and protectors and heroes and should be treated as such. They don’t receive Million Dollar bonuses for turning a profit or signing to a football team, but shouldn’t they be fairly compensated and acknowledged for the extremely important role they play in our childrens’ lives? The teachers at Newtown used their own bodies to protect their students, they hid them in bathrooms, they kept them calm and quiet and they told them that they loved them, because they wanted that to be what they knew and remembered, that they were loved.
26 lights are gone, but what are the lessons? Is it about gun control and politics and anger and finger pointing? Surprisingly this morning, Joe Scarborough, Host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, self-proclaimed Conservative Republican, and a former politician who had earned the National Rifle Association’s highest rating four years running, did an about face on his stance on gun control. In a monologue lasting more than 10 minutes he said ‘Friday changed everything, it must change everything’ and ‘it’s time for congress to put children before deadly dogma.’ (watch the entire monologue here.) He spoke about special interest groups and how they can no longer determine what is best for the people in this country. I hope that we can create real change from this.
But I think there are more personal lessons here too, ones that are more introspective and more life changing. I think the lessons aren’t about ‘the other’ I think they are about each of us individually.
Life is fragile and fleeting. We never know when we will leave or our loved ones will leave, so slow down. Say what you mean, tell people you love them, lead with a kind heart, don’t be afraid to apologize, don’t be afraid to help, to talk, to laugh and to love.
The love, the awareness, the appreciation, the connection we feel right now, this should be our life, it shouldn’t show up only after a tragedy that brings it all home.
Honor this unfathomable loss by embracing this level of awareness in each and every moment of your life, make this your mission and out of this will come the peace and love we are reaching for.
This is what I think our lesson is.
(C) 2012 Christine Agro
Christine Agro is a parent, a clairvoyant, and a metaphysical expert. She shares her insight into the Spiritual side of living – conception, pregnancy, parenting and every day life. You can join The Conscious Mom’s Guide, a free membership site if you’d like to join a like-minded group of people and access support, guidance and insight into better parenting through conscious awareness.