I hadn't expected to bring my kids to school today. I'd planned to send them off with the bus just like any other Monday.
But it had been a long weekend filled with winter walks, neighborhood parties and a constant albeit quiet grief. I wasn't surprised that we woke up late. I wanted to make sure they had breakfast ... and I wanted to make sure I didn't spend the last few minutes of our time together today yelling at them to get ready lest they miss their ride.
Today, I wanted to be mindful of the one thing I, and everyone on this planet, can do right now to begin the process of change -- we can spread kindness. We can smile at each other more; we can kiss our kids and hug them just because they are amazing; and we can help someone who needs us. Especially a stranger.
Right now our schools need us.
And our kids need their schools. Because schools are the places where community truly becomes real to our children.
I didn't hug my kids as they ran to their classrooms. I didn't follow them and speak to their teachers. I know them well, and know my kids are in excellent hands.
I did speak to the former principal, though, a woman who is so devoted to the school that she has remained active there despite having to step down from her position as she battles lung cancer. I hugged her and told her I appreciated the time she took trying to comfort me.
As I left the building and headed to my car I was thankful for our president's words:
"There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have — for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace — that is true. The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves, and binds us to something larger — we know that’s what matters. We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness. We don’t go wrong when we do that."
Kindness is what we need. Kindness and community.