Like everyone else, I listened in horror to the news emerging from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut yesterday. And here’s what I kept thinking:
When you’re 5, you think everyone writes in upper case letters, all the time.
You have a mouth almost full of baby teeth.
When you’re 5, you hold your mom’s hand on school field trips and ask her what the word “Recess” means the night before the first day of school.
You bound into the ocean over Memorial Day weekend oblivious to the frigid water turning your skin blue.
When you’re 5, you hold your pee until the last possible second because you don’t ever want to stop playing.
If you’re five today, you don’t see the color of your friend’s skin and you’ve only known a world with an African-American President.
When you’re 5, you count the days until Christmas and sing carols loudly out of tune. You talk to the Elf on the Shelf because you believe he talks to Santa at night.
When you’re in Kindergarten, even if your life has been hard, you still believe in only the good in people.
And this is why we are all grieving so much. But I am certain the collective power of our grief can be much greater than just hugging our kids and taking a moment to be especially grateful that they got off the school bus yesterday. It needs to be much greater than this. As we flounder around and wonder what we can do, I think the answer lies right in front of us.
First, there’s the obvious. We can band together and voice the power of grieving parents to demand tougher gun control laws. We can write our Congressmen and sign the petition from MomsRising.
But we can also look into our own back yards and help other mothers who are struggling to raise their own kids, trying to get them to five. If you live in DC, you can donate a mere $12 a month to the DC Diaper bank and diaper a baby for two weeks. Or you could donate to Mission Sleep and help a military mom who’s on her own because her husband is deployed or injured. Or, another cause I really believe in is the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, which is working to vaccinate children in developing countries because so many of them don’t make it to kindergarten. Just $20 will vaccinate a child in need.
When you’re five, you see only the good in people. I think we need to honor the lives of those precious Kindergarteners by seeing only the good in those around us and helping those who need it. Feel free to leave more suggestions in the comments section here or on the Wired Momma Facebook page.