Monday, December 17, 2012

Looking for the bright spots...

Sorry I went radio silent here on the blog. I posted last Tuesday and then the week got away from me. Then Friday happened. I went back and forth about wanting to write about the events in Connecticut, wanting to process what happened. I started many posts but, in the end, decided I just needed to stay silent. I needed to be with my own children, pray, and reflect.

After this weekend I wasn’t sure what school would be like today. I didn’t want to have a big discussion with my students. They are ten and, as a mom of a ten year old, I think that each parent should be able to decide how they want to share this horrific news with their children. I’d be here to listen to the kids, of course, but I did not want any huge conversation where we’d have kids getting more information than they needed. And that’s what we did.

Christmas gifts for my students.
My students immediately indicated that they heard the news upon entering today. I overheard several comments as they made their way to their tables. One turned to me and asked what I thought. So, I gathered my beautiful students, my amazingly funny, silly, crazy, smart kids to the carpet. I told them that we would not be having a long discussion but they needed to know this- I was sad but I’m choosing to focus on something else. There is so much beauty in this world, so much good. I am not willing to live my life in fear; I am not willing to give this man who did this horrible thing any of my attention. I will focus on small things, how my class makes me smile. How happy they were to get their Christmas gift from me (a book). And more. They seemed reassured; we smiled, and moved on with our day.

So while focusing on small moments of goodness cannot change Friday’s news, and I don’t mean to devalue the horrific event, for my own well being, I decided to focus my blog today on happy events.

Events like Project for Awesome. Check out information about it HERE. They have raised a ridiculous amount of $$$$ in one day - $192,000 as of the typing of this post. All money goes towards charities and with the goal of decreasing world suck. What isn’t to love about that? Personally, I donated to get a piece of artwork from the Yeti. Going on my living room wall – so fun!

Events like receiving this print in the mail from Matthew Cordell because I ordered four copies of Hello! Hello! Can't wait to frame it. 

Events like fifth graders being completely enthralled with the picture books I have in our tub for the Mock Caldecott. Having a student turn to me and ask if I thought the moose from Z is for Moose had “anger issues.” Hilarious!

Events like seeing that my son has created three Lego "guys" after he and his two best friends. The creative stories he has come up with are amazing. 

Events like my mom calling me to tell me a former student of both of ours (my mom had him for 3rd, I had him for 5th) had called her that day. He asked if she would be his confirmation sponsor. I loved that four years later you can still tell the impact she made.

Events like making baked goods for the teachers my boys have. As the boys helped me put a note with each item I realized how blessed we are, in so many ways.

Events like reading the reading responses kids have turned in this week. Loved this drawing of the breadbox from Laurel Snyder’s Bigger Than a Bread Box. I haven’t read the book for over a year but in looking over the picture I believe the drawing is all of the items that appeared in the bread box.

And so, while we all try to make sense of something that cannot make sense, I plan on turning my attention to some beautiful things in my life. Horrible days like Friday make them stand out all the more – bright spots against the dreary day. There is good in this world, we just have to know where to look for it.