Did anyone else have a hard time sending their kids back to school today? I have been crying on and off all weekend – at my daughter’s Christmas pageant, while reading a story to my little 1st grader, while saying good night to my big 4th grader, and so on and so on. The thought of ever losing them is unbearable. And I weep for the parents dealing with that unfathomable pain.
This morning was particularly gut-wrenching for me. To say that my youngest hates Mondays would be a gross understatement. She loves school. But she loves days off even more. And every Monday we deal with tears and tantrums as she adamantly professes that she simply will not go to school.
This Monday was no different. Except for some reason, her tantrums were replaced by crocodile tears and a solid case of the clingys. I just want to spend the day with you mom, she cried. I cried right along with her. I just wanted her to stay home, too. But I realized that letting her play hookie today would not be good for either of us. Because when Tuesday came, we would have to face the same demons. For my daughter, the desire to simply hang out at home. For me, the desire to shield her from the world for just one more day.
It’s tempting to pull up the covers and try to shut-out the senseless evils of the world, but we can’t hide, can we? Try as we might to protect our kids from pesticides, global warming, and high-fructose corn syrup, we simply can’t hide in our homes in fear of every shopping mall, post office, and school classroom.
We have to continue living. For our own sanity as well as our children’s.
Tomorrow, I will let my daughter stay home from school. Because in this time of sadness, I really want to be with her too. I want to snuggle and read stories and soak in every moment of her awesomeness. But not because I am scared of sending her to school, and not because she just hates a Monday. I want to do it to celebrate her childhood, not to mourn the loss of another’s.
RIP beautiful children of Sandy Hook Elementary.
Did you have a hard time sending your kids to school this morning?