Happy New Year and welcome to 2013, RMT’ers!
It’s back from vacation for T, C, and me, which means it’s back to life, back to reality. While I’m being somewhat light about it, I realize that for others, that statement weighs a lot heavier these days.
We got home on Saturday, and I remembered (well, a school flyer reminded me) that we actually had a very small homework assignment from school. Not really homework per se, but community-work. See, our school sent a flyer home asking students and parents to come together and make a few snowflakes for the students, teachers, and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary. Yes, that Sandy Hook.
It’s not much, but it’s something the Connecticut PTSA asked for us to do; given the situation, it’s kind-of hard to say no to them and to their very simple yet beautiful request. But I’ll admit, at first I struggled with doing this project with T because, well, he’s just five-years-old and in no way in need of knowing the details of such horrific events. Also, after witnessing T’s four-year-old response when we found ourselves in the immediate area during the Seal Beach shootings (immediate area as in at the intersection near the salon within minutes of the incident on our way to a nearby park, then soon after hearing dozens of sirens and seeing a fleet of helicopters over the park as we tried to carry on with a play date with a friend), I decided it best not to even broach this subject with him. T still asks to this day if we will need to leave the park down there because of the “man with the gun.” So, yeah, I had hesitations here to say the least.
In the end, however, I ultimately decided this project request was too important to ignore and just turned it into a very short and sweet craft “homework assignment” (seriously, as in like five minutes out of our day, if that). Thanks to a fellow parent in our class for the idea to pitch it as such, which technically it was: Make snowflakes and bring them to school.
I realize that perhaps I was not entirely up front and honest with T about this assignment, but given we’d not discussed the event (it neither came up in his classroom or among friends at or outside of school, I did verify this much with his teacher, very directly, and with T personally, albeit vaguely), I just felt it wasn’t necessary to raise the matter. And rest assured there’ll be time for me to explain it to him later when he’s more mature (read older) to handle such news (think social studies approach). I could have offered T a short and simple explanation when it occurred, I suppose, but for anyone who actually knows T there is no simple explanation for, well, anything, let alone something like Sandy Hook, which is so tragically complicated.
I hope Sandy Hook enjoys the whopper of a snow storm headed their way from all directions – and distances – this week. Here’s to hoping for clearer and brighter days ahead.
RMT’ers, did you do this project with your own children? More specifically, how did you handle this project – and related news events – with the K-and-under set?
NOTE: Per my link above, it appears that the Connecticut PTSA has closed the snowflake project to future mailings, so we’ll see how T’s school handles the intake of snowflakes this week. Admittedly Southern Californians aren’t too adept in handling a blizzard, though I suspect we will somehow manage in this instance.