Friday, December 14, 2012

Sleep Tight Little Ones . . .

Today was Kindergarten Pajama Day in my school. We've been participating in Scholastic's Pajama Project and the kids have been bringing in pajamas to donate to children in need. We got to present our efforts at a school assembly, and all 87 kindergartners stood before the whole school in their jammies and sang a cute little song about pajamas. As I watched with pride as my adorable fleece-wearing kiddos sang their little 5-year old hearts out I thought, "It just doesn't get any cuter than this!"

We returned to our classroom and the kids cuddled on the rug for a special "Bedtime Story" and we all felt very warm, cozy and safe in our little kindergarten cocoon. Eager eyes and shining faces joined with good friends and a favorite story to create a very magical moment, full of joy and innocence.  All was right with our world and I thought, "It just doesn't get any better than this!"

And then the world shook.

Word started to trickle in about the horrific school shooting that had just occurred a few towns over from us in Newtown.  The details were slow to reach us, but as they did, tears were shed and hearts were broken for the victims of this senseless tragedy. How do you wrap your head around something so gut-wrenching? How do you acknowledge that there's an entire class of kindergartners, a class just like yours, that will never sing or dance or dream again?  Looking at my sweet, sweet babies, wearing their princess nightgowns and monster truck pjs, I just couldn't do it. I don't know if I ever will. I thought to myself, "It just doesn't get any sadder than this."

So we danced. A lot. I cranked up a little Carly Rae Jepsen and we twirled and bounced and spun and jumped. We held hands and sang loudly and off key. We danced until the kids all fell down laughing. As I looked around at the precious little ones that I get to love, laugh and learn with every day, I promised myself that I will always do whatever I can to keep them safe. No matter what. I promised myself that if needed, I would have the courage to be as brave as the teachers in Newtown were today. No matter what.

I hugged my kids a littler tighter than usual when they left today and I wished them all the sweetest of dreams. To our neighbors in Newtown - I wish you all healing and peace. To the shining lights lost today - Sleep Tight Little Ones . . .
sleep tight little ones
This beautiful graphic is by Nikki at Melonheadz!


  1. That was so poignant, and so needed. I hugged my little Firsties a little tighter today, too. Thanks, Donna

  2. Donna, thank you for your wonderful post. I am your newest follower.

    Please come visit me...{virtual hugs coming your way}

    Teacher to the Core

  3. Donna, I'm 40 minutes away from Newtown in New York. Word trickled into us also. We had a winter concert yesterday afternoon. As I watched my Kinders sing on stage my heart broke for all those children and parents who world changed forever. I just told my own children (9 and 11) what happened. My 11 year old is processing it in her own way, but my 9 year old burst into tears and told me he didn't want me to die. The conversations that are taking place across the country with young children should not have to happen! Parents should not have to plan funerals for these senseless acts. I love being a Kindergarten teacher and I will protect my Kinders like they are my own. I can't wait for our PJ party next week! Tracy

  4. Luisa Palomo, 2012 Nebraska Teacher of the YearDecember 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Thank you for your post; you so eloquently put into words what I felt; we did a lot of dancing and holding each other tightly in my kindergarten room yesterday. What a fantastic age to work with, but so devastating to know that these children were so young.

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