I've had an email in my inbox reminding to document this story for a long time now and since I don't have any pictures ready to post, I'm finally getting around to it.
On Friday, December 7th, I went to the school to pick the girls up as walkers. I got Ella from the end of the 3rd grade hall and we walked down to the kindergarten hall to get Addie.
It seemed a bit more crowded than usual around the door but I thought it was just because I was a little later than normal. When the teacher who was at the door releasing the children saw me she said, "Oh, Addie is in Miss Fenn's room still." I, of course, immediately assumed the worst and thought she had been causing problems in the walker line while waiting for me to come. But then the teacher went on, "The whole class is locked in the classroom...and Miss Fenn is in there too."
So, those of us picking up children from Miss Fenn's class stood outside waiting for awhile. Once all the other walkers had been picked up they let us come inside the school and wait at the end of the hallway (it was a chilly day).
We started out standing, and eventually sat down. Teachers were coming and trying to open the door, the librarian, the principal, janitors, but no one was having any luck. I guess a few kids started to freak out a bit and I was telling the other parents how I felt bad for Miss Fenn being stuck in there with them all :-). Then the librarian had the brilliant idea to put on a movie in the classroom and she ran to the front of the school to have it broadcast to their room. And we kept waiting.
Then a teacher ran in from the bus lines and asked how much longer they should hold the buses because the kids were getting wild on them. I hadn't even thought of that! So, now I didn't feel that badly for Miss Fenn, but I felt SO bad for those poor bus drivers who were trying to control buses of crazy kids before even starting their long routes. That's when the other moms and I realized there were day care buses being held as well. All for this one class. Such a disaster!
Eventually, nearly an hour later, some maintenance man from another school was able to come and literally take the door off it's hinges to let everyone out. It was crazy and a little scary...what if there was a fire in the school and a lock malfunctioned like that?! Some of the parents were worried that their children would be scared about coming to school the next day and getting trapped again, but it didn't phase Addie at all and she had a good story tell for the next few days. :-)
It was exactly one week later that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut took place. I have avoided writing about it, but as I make sure everything from 2012 has been documented, I feel I should since it has consumed many of my thoughts and prayers for the last month. There are many terrible and sad things that occur so often in the world, but this one, more than any other, really really affected me. I think the largest reason is because Addie is so near the age of the children who were murdered that day.
Adeline, more than either of the other kids, is a mystery to me. I don't understand what makes her tick, what motivates her, what sets her off to extreme sads, happies or angries. She is such a unique and special child (of course, Ella and Preston are each special in their own ways as well!) and because of that I wonder often what she will be like as she gets older. Her brain works so differently. She creates crazy things using just paper and tape, she likes me to read to her from encyclopedia type books instead of regular stories, she would rather write her own books about cats than color in a coloring book and she is very sensitive.
Will she want to be an artist or a scientist doing research, a decorator or a doctor, who knows?! So, on December 14th and the following days as I saw the pictures of those precious children and their crying parents, all I could think was, "They will never know." and it broke. my. heart.
I would just be driving along by myself and tears would well up when I thought of it. One afternoon a couple weeks later I heard a tribute on the radio. I don't remember the whole thing but there was a pretty song and audio clips of the breaking news, and then an excerpt from President Obama's speech where he read the names and ages of each victim. I was starting to cry again and then I had this image in my head of Christ with his arms around those little children. And I thought about the comfort and love they were feeling with him after such a scary experience and I thought how sad He must be for them and for their families, but also how glad He was to hold them in His arms again. I still feel sad for the families of those who died that day but it is nice to have that image pop into my head every time I think about them and pray for them.