I'm lucky enough to walk my daughter to kindergarten every morning. I say lucky because there are few better ways, if any, to start your morning. Seeing those five and six year-old smiles never gets old. Neither does seeing their energy and eagerness to live and learn.
During our walk, I say good morning to every child we pass. Most of them are between five and ten years-old. Some of them say good morning or just morning. Some smile. Some stick out their tongues and laugh. Some ignore me. But that's okay. They are only kids. They are on the brink of life. They are learning and developing. They are sponges waiting to absorb the next waterfall they encounter. They are honest and eager to please. They are innocent. They are fragile.
I am a husband. I am a parent. And I am a teacher. I have only ever been a teacher. It is all I know and all I really care to ever do. I teach eleven and twelve year-olds. They are three times the size of kindergartners and infinitely "smarter." But when you take away the size and knowledge, they are still kids. They smile. They laugh. They stick out their tongues. They ignore me. They are honest and eager to please. They are all of these things, just like kindergartners. They are even innocent and--though stronger and more independent--still fragile. They are special to their families and their teachers, more special than they'll ever know.
The kids and teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary will always be remembered. They, too, are more special than they'll ever know.
Kids are the joy to the world,
they are the merry in Christmas,
the burning candle in Hanukkah,
they are different shapes and sizes
like the snowflakes that fall
they are the bright lights
filling us with hope
for a better place,
they fall down and get up,
cry and laugh in the same breath,
hold hands with new friends,
ask questions that cannot be answered,
say "I love you" when least expected,
they give meaningful hugs
and remember them forever,
Kids wrap their arms around life
and refuse to let go.
They make the world whole.