Kindergarten was a big year.
I picked my nose and refused to eat the peas on my dinner plate. And when I grew up, I wanted to be Loonette the Clown from The Big Comfy Couch.
I prank called the operator and told her my brother swallowed a crayon. I don’t have a brother.
I stuck a marble up my nose and my dad had to dig it out.
A boy held my hand for the first time and I was almost hospitalized with cooties.
I had a mushroom cut and dressed myself in scrapes and bruises.
I painted lipstick on my face and wore high heels that were too big.
I gave my mom wilted dandelions for her birthday.
I ALWAYS picked the chocolate Dunkaroos over vanilla.
I went to my first sleepover, sold lemonade, and loved to draw rainbows.
I learned to bow my head and say my prayers before bedtime.
My favorite activity was to “play pretend” which consisted of “school”, “house”, and “grown up”.
That year, I was also too afraid to visit Santa Clause at the mall. I sent my parents with a list on my behalf. Faithfully, he dropped off a train set on Christmas Eve. I’ll never forget that day.
I bet the kindergarteners at Sandy Hook Elementary had Christmas lists for Santa. I bet they picked dandelions for their moms. I bet they dressed up in lipstick, scrapes, and bruises. I bet they pretended to be grown ups too. The only difference is- they don’t get to be.
Over a week later, North America is still picking up the pieces to our broken hearts.
Unfortunately, many of us will forget the tragic event during Christmas. We will replace the broken pieces with snacks for Santa, a sleepless night, the hype of opening presents, and a filling meal with family and friends.
But in Newtown, Connecticut there will be no need for snacks, and the sleepless nights will be all too familiar. Instead, there will be a need for compassion, love, and prayer to sew up those broken hearts.
This Christmas, I encourage us to bow our heads and say a prayer for Newtown before bedtime.
No, the young victims won’t get to play pretend. They won’t get to sell lemonade or play with train sets on Christmas day. And they won’t get to draw rainbows on sheets of paper.
But they sure do get to paint them in the sky.