“This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.”-Barack Obama

Hi everyone! Happy Friday! For some reason I feel like this one merits a, “We made it!”. I took a mental health day yesterday and it was extremely needed. And any teacher knows coming back after a day gone is pretty much the most hectic experience ever. I came back to find out my substitute had given every kid a prize (huge eye roll) and they had done all sorts of things they weren’t supposed to. We’ve had computer testing in the classroom all week and the results weigh heavy. It feels so inappropriate to expect these tiny, tiny people to perform with that type of technology. That along with waking up to a Comcast bill I can’t afford and feeling just like this Friday is a Monday, toppled on me heavy this morning.

And then I checked the news. And I remembered. That haunting picture of the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook. So many tiny little faces smiling back at me and my complete first world problems melted away. I got to wake up today. I got to kiss my boyfriend and dog goodbye in our beautiful house. I got to drive my car and go to a job I love. Almost all my kids are here today and healthy (a nasty flu has been plaguing our classroom with 102 fevers being super common). They were insanely eager to tell me about all the things I missed yesterday. I was greeted this morning with, “We missed you!”, and “Where were you!”, and a gazillion hugs.

Today is always a super weird day for me. It’s the 6th anniversary of the Newton school shootings. I remember the exact moment I found out about them. I was actually on a plane on the way to Holidaze, a music festival that is held in the tropics. I was sitting on the plane and the news was playing on one of those tiny little airplane tv’s in the headrest of the person in front of me. I didn’t start bawling or screaming, both appropriate reactions, I just sat and stared and thought of each of the little babies in my class. The bewilderment of how someone could look one of them in the eye and harm them in that way will never register with me. I can’t go too deep into what it was like for them; the fear, or sounds, or ideas, or cries that day because I have a hard time getting myself out of that space. They are each filled with so many dreams and ideas that the thought of putting those out before they even have a chance to experience life, still affects me greatly 6 years later.

I’m not here to say as a country we should do this or you should do that. I am here to say that this event effects me greatly each year and I vote accordingly. I can’t imagine something bad happening to one of the kids in my class, let alone all of them. So this morning while I drove to work I put aside all my momentary worries and prayed. For the moms and dads and brothers and sisters that won’t see these children again. For the loss and pain I can only imagine they feel each day. For the kids who survived and what they must feel each day getting older and comprehending more and more what did and what almost happened to them. I pray for the teachers brave enough to stay behind, and pick up the remains of a broken community. I pray for peace for people with mental illness. And I vote. And I repeat those steps until I can get back to a place of “this all will be okay”.

This weekend I have two holiday parties and so many other fun activities in between. I am going to be squeezing in the holiday flea market downtown, trying to do as many grades as possible, and putting our house back together after last weekend in between! With only 3 1/2 days next week and the amount of things that need to get done between here and then can make my head spin. And every second I get overwhelmed, or stressed, or anxious I’m going to remind myself how lucky I am to be here. How lucky I am to have the amazing people around me. How how great my life is! XxAbby

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