As a teacher in America, your administration trains you for inconceivable moments. Several times a year you hold fire and tornado drills. After 9/11 and the Virginia Tech tragedy we received training and codes announcing an armed gunman in the building. Never in my career did I ever believe I would have to use that training.
As a parent, we send our children to school, daily, never allowing ourselves to think of potential threats to their safety. We can't. We'd never be able to function if we were constantly worrying about all of the terrible things that could happen to them.
And then some thing, like what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, happens and it tears down the wall we build so high to protect our hearts. We grieve right along with those parents, knowing that our pain and tears are only a drop in the ocean of grief that the community of Sandy Hook is feeling.
Our world view is shattered in an instant and it leaves us with questions on how something like this could happen, how could it have been stopped, anger at the horrendous nature of the act, and calls for change. And as I've lain awake the past few nights, listening to the sweet breaths of my family, I've been thinking about all of those things but mostly about how to bring my children up in response. We can't live in fear. We can't hold on to the anger.
As I began to find words for some of these feelings, it became clear in my heart that what I needed was a call to action. In my heart, I will always believe that what our world needs more of is love. As I was speaking with a group of fellow bloggers, someone mentioned how their child was telling them that there were 26 victims just as there are 26 letters in the alphabet. Thus was born an idea for 26 acts of love.
I chose to start with R. Yesterday, the boys and I sat down to look through some of our photo albums and remember the many good times we've had in our lives. Cuddling on the couch with my little guys and sharing with them is so therapeutic. I love to listen to my oldest as he searches his brain for his own memories of these events. It warms my heart to watch my 3 year old's face light up any time he saw a photo of himself as a baby. We've visited so many exciting places and seen such beauty on this earth.
For now this is how I'm choosing to deal. I want to work my way through as many of these acts of love as possible over the next month. The world can always benefit from a little more love. In my mind, I imagine a little more love might help to banish the hurt, fear, and pain. If you'd like to spread a bit yourself, you'll find the list we've complied as well as a list of bloggers who are choosing to "be the good" in our world. If you feel so moved, pick a letter and share.
For more acts of love visit the following blogs: