Taking a Sandy Hook Minute

I promised myself that I was going to make each morning before school count.
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It was the first day back to school after break and we were all going through the usual morning hustle and bustle…

As I bundled up to take my oldest son out to the bus I looked over to see him and my younger son writing their names with their fingers in the condensation on the glass storm door.

They continued to draw 5 hearts, one for each family member. Little did they know this small action took my breath away and immediately made my heart ache. Seeing those little fingers run along the glass… those little hearts drawn with love.

It reminded me of an article I had read a little over 2 years ago, the day after the school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. I remember the article quoting one of the moms saying that when she got home that evening, after finding out her son was one of the victims, she found “I love you” written in the frost on one of her car windows. The last ” I love you” she would ever get from her son.

I remember reading this and my heart aching with such sadness for that poor mother. I remember promising myself that I was going to cherish every second I have with my children…and that I was going to make each morning before school count.

I was going to make sure my kids went to school knowing how much I loved them, with a bright smile on both of our faces, after having tons of cuddle time. Fast forward to 2 years later and my morning that day looked more like this:

“Go brush your teeth.

Bud, hurry up and eat breakfast, we have to go, we are late!

My oldest son running around the house trying to find his library book.. Teeth still not brushed. My youngest son pushing the button on his singing Olaf for the 100th time that morning, instead of eating his breakfast. All while my daughter follows my every move, clinging to my leg, crying “Mama, Mama” until I pick her up, even though I am trying to pack my sons lunch while also still making sure everyone’s “staying on task”….

We finally get to the point of getting bundled up and are waiting for the bus, and that’s when it happens. That’s when I see those little hearts that stopped me in my tracks. Those little hearts that reminded me that I had not kept up with my promise to myself or to my kids. Those little hearts that looked back at me asking....

“What if?”

So that day, I made a choice. I made the choice to take a “Sandy Hook minute” every single morning. To take that minute and stop, look around me and cherish that moment, no matter how crazy it may be. To stop and give that extra kiss, and to see that little smile. To take that minute to make sure I was down stairs to hug my husband goodbye before he left for work.

Some days it lasts longer than a minute, some days I find myself praying for those parents who still mourn their child’s death, while squeezing mine a few more times than usual.

Other days I find that minute saved me from losing my temper on a little boy who only wanted more cereal but ended up spilling the whole box of Cheerios all over the floor. Another day it helped me to find compassion for the other little boy who wet his pants for the second time this week because he waited too long to go.

That one minute has changed our mornings. Are they perfect? Not even close. But they are better. They have less “go go go” moments and more “give me another hug” moments. Less “hurry up you’re going to be late” moments and more “it can wait” moments.

So today I encourage you to take your Sandy Hook minute. It may change your mornings forever.

Want to read more from Nicole? Check out her blog at: Mommy’s Front Porch View