Elementary school memories are infused with pure kid joy at trying something new. For me, elementary school memories are all about the newness of learning and of life.
Like listening to books on tape in the reading tee-pee that my kindergarten teacher had. Or the day that my mom came into my first grade class and helped us make homemade peach ice cream in an old-fashioned ice cream maker. Playing with my friends on the playground on Field Day. Listening to our school librarian read The Velveteen Rabbit to our class. Learning how to write in cursive and being envious of Jeanie Enfante because her cursive had the perfect slant. Painting a mural on the cafeteria wall. Drinking chocolate milk out of tiny milk cartons and eating rectangle pizza. Being a patrol and helping to open doors for fellow students at the car line.
Then after the school day was over, walking home with my friends. My mom would always be there waiting for me. I would tell her about my day, have a snack, do homework, and play.
That is what a child should remember about elementary school. Not the nightmarish memories that come with cruel, senseless acts of Friday. No child should ever have to endure the horror of what happened on Friday. Years of innocence have been ripped away. Lost.
On Monday, 20 mothers (and fathers, brothers, sisters) will wait for their precious little ones to come home from school, but they won't. On Monday, students will sit in their classrooms waiting for beloved teachers who will never return. On Monday, a school staff will look for the leadership of a principal who is gone. On Monday, all those broken hearts who will be searching for guidance from their trusted school psychologist will not find her.
My prayer is that today, tomorrow, on Monday and always those who have lost so much will feel God's loving arms around them.