This morning I attended a "Spirit Assembly" at my kids' elementary school. They have one of these every month, and several students are recognized for different achievements and behaviors.
Today my little guy, LLG, was recognized for his kindness. His teacher told me how he defended a boy that was being teased, without anyone asking him to do so. My little guy went out onto the playground, on his own, and asked his friend to leave this boy alone.
Is there any better award?
While there were police outside when I arrived at the school, and security was at an all time high, the mood inside the gym was cheerful. Kids were wearing reindeer antlers and Santa hats, and they were chattering in excitement as usual. These kids were unaware of the sadness and the cruelty and the trauma outside their little worlds.
It was wonderful.
I am a staunch believer that kids need to be kids. They need time to believe in Santa, and believe in fairies. They deserve time to imagine a world where anything is possible. They need to play with toys and play with friends. They don't need the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Tiny shoulders can't carry it.
My oldest is eleven. He is aware of the tragedy in Connecticut, and he hears plenty at school. Today he stayed home, and joined me at his old elementary school. He needed the breather, the space away from rumors and chatter about threats and the end of the world.
He needed to be with his family, in his home. Like so many of us, he needed to step back and take comfort in the love surrounding him.
Hug your babies. Play your Christmas music. Bake your cookies. Bring your family and your friends together these next few weeks and celebrate a new year of happiness.
We all need a little Christmas Cheer. Wishing you plenty this weekend, and in the weeks ahead!