Unsung Heroes

I, like the rest of America, mourned the lives lost after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I am not sure words can truly express the waves of emotions that rattled me in ways I hadn't expected.

As a parent of elementary school children, I of course felt empathy for the parents of all the children at the school and especially those whose lives were cut too short. The thought of it occurring at the schools my children attend just takes my breath away.

As the daughter of a teacher and with several family members with careers in education, I mourned the loss of the adults and couldn't imagine the heart ache their families were going through.

Having lost a loved one, I know first hand the pain and stories like these are like a punch in the gut. Just a quick little jab as a reminder of what love taken feels like.

I had been wanting to do a post on this topic since it happened but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to share. Jumping right into it didn't seem respectful on some levels. I didn't want to hop on the finger-pointing bandwagon or get into the gun debate.

As the stories of the brave children who helped protect one another and the adults who sacrificed themselves for the students came out, I knew how I wanted to address this devastating event but it wasn't until today that I knew how to express my thoughts.

My family has been blessed to have had so many fantastic teachers touch the lives of my children. When I look at my life choices, I have to give credit to stay at home moms. After a weekend with my kids, I am ready to go back to the office. I imagine many moms feel that way when sending their kids to school. So to think of these adults who spend day after day shaping and molding the lives of a room full of children, not their own, but wanting the best for them as if they were, is truly amazing to me.

While the teachers at Sandy Hook are in every way aspirational, I have no doubt each and every one of the teachers my children have and have had in the past, would have acted the exact same way without hesitation. Teachers are a special breed.

May 7th is National Teacher Appreciation Day, but in our area a local news/radio station hosts a Teacher of the Week recognition program. I am happy to say this week, my mom was their award winner.

I say this all the time, but it really is the little things that make the biggest difference. Thank you to the parent who nominated my mom. While of course I think she is the best, she is one of so many teachers who deserve to be recognized for their hard work, their care of our children and their passion for shaping our future generations. If you know of a special teacher who goes above and beyond, please don't wait to tell them or better yet, show them how much you appreciate everything they do.


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