Today was different. Now we know. Now we know too much. We know how it happened. We know the names, and faces of who died. We know how they died. We know too much.
As I walked through the front door of my son’s school this morning, I made eye contact with dozens of children. I thought of the kids in Connecticut.
I looked to my left and saw the office with a few staff chatting, and then the principal with a mop cleaning up the snow trails of the boots down the hallway. The school was organized chaos, everyone about their routines. This is what it was like minutes before things went wrong in Sandy Hook.
Staff getting ready for the day, children and parents rushing around, and many smiles from the teachers as they welcomed each student.
As we made our way down the kindergarten hall, the faces became younger and my heart more heavy. These are the types of children no longer here. My son rushed in to his classroom and I hugged his teacher. I had warned her this was coming. We small talk chatted. Our hearts were heavy, but we weren’t necessarily scared. We were just sad because we both know what joy and laughter and possibility there is in school, every school.
How could a place such as this be turned so evil?
Just as firehalls nationwide were flooded with spontaneous acts of kindness in the days and weeks following 9/11, it was the same at school today.
Teachers are the new first responders. You just have to read the story of Dawn Hochsprung, principal at Sandy Hook to see how much these people love our kids and how they treat them like their own.
On Friday there were warm, receptive hugs for the children.
Today they were for the teachers.