The letter was from a little boy named John, who he was best friends with Jack Pinto, 6-years-old, a victim in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy who was said to be buried in a Giant’s Jersey.
Jack, you are my best friend. We had fun together. I will miss you. I will talk to you in my prayers. I love you, Jack. Love, John.
As a mom of a 5-year-old, I can’t help but think about my son and his little school friends.
Every day I get to hear a new story about his adventures with Dylan, Nicolas, Ben, Giada, Julia … among the other kiddos.
Anyone who knows me will attest to my perky, often times loud, jazz-handy demeanor. This is just who I am and I take this with me when I bring my son to school.
“Goooood morning, children,” I say. Like bees to honey, my enthusiasm is reciprocated.
“Jack’s mom, you wanna hear something, you wanna?!” a little voice says.
“Hi Jack’s mom,” another squeaky voice says.
“I know 3 people named Chrissy,” Addison says so matter-of-factly. She tells me this almost daily.
“Hi Chrissy,” says Dylan, a blond-haired boy, JD’s bestie.
I love ’em all.
This week, Giada made me this beautiful picture. When I entered the classroom to pick up JD, he was sitting and coloring with Giada and his back was to me. I wasn’t, per usual, in a rush, so I sat with them in a little blue chair while they colored and just felt calm and lucky to be in the sunny, buzzing classroom.
“This is for you,” Giada said and she handed me this picture that is now on my fridge. I was so touched. I have come to know these children over the years. They were all in diapers when JD started at the school. Now they read. I am friends with their parents.
This past year I found myself with a day off. I asked the school if I could visit for lunch. I dined with the children, helping them poke holes in their juice boxes and encouraged one more bite.
Then I read them JD’s favorite book and answered their eager questions about the story.
“I’m allergic to nuts!” Giada proclaimed. The princess in the story is allergic to strawberries. When Julia asked me if the princess had a name, I unflinchingly said, “Julia!” She beamed.
Their eyes so wide and filled with wonder, excitement and joy—we should all embrace our days on Earth like this. We should look at a bubble floating in the air and lose our breath in excitement. We should run into work with the wind upon our backs, ready to learn something new. Eat ice cream and get a brain freeze—for breakfast!
We should look at our children and learn from them. Learn from their sweetness and innocence.
My friend, Renee, posted something on my Facebook that her son Dylan made at school. JD made the same project only his said, “I am thankful for mommy.”
This morning I showed JD, Dylan’s picture and I asked him about Dylan. “He’s my best friend, mom. He’s silly and protects me from the girls. We play in the block center and we play Ninjas outside.”
I am thankful for Dylan. The sweet little boy with the whitest blond hair who says, “Hi Chrissy!” every morning and who has brought joy to my son.
Today, I am remembering all of the children who lost their friends.
Have a nice weekend, all.
This will be my final post about Sandy Hook Elementary. Rest in peace, 27 souls…
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