Back to School All Over Again

IMG00423-20110829-0819Who knew there would be a Monday in mid-December that would feel far scarier than the first day of school?  Today was the 74th day of Kindergarten, but it was also the first day of school since the horrible events unfolded in Newtown, since our whole world changed.  Even though my son attends elementary school hundreds of miles from CT, it was very hard to drop him off at school today and it will be hard again tomorrow.

For my son who has no idea what happened last Friday, it was just another Monday morning. He wanted the weekend to last longer but quickly got into his uniform and school mode.  I was the one who prolonged breakfast until we missed the bus and then kept dragging my feet until we arrived 2 minutes late, our first unexcused tardy of the school year.

I know I was not the only nervous parent this morning. There were millions of others across the country wondering if we should keep their little ones safe at home.  As soon as I was back in my car after dropping him off, I scoured my twitter feed for emergencies around the county, state, country.  I saw mentions of scares but none close by.  Of course, if we are all jumpy, there will be more scares and we will need to learn to manage those too.

Nobody knows what the coming weeks will bring, but hopefully we will all begin to heal over the winter break and be a little stronger in the New Year.  It helped to hear President Obama speak so directly to parents and promise real and meaningful action to prevent these kinds of horrors from happening again. I know there are millions of people who will join me in working to make sure these changes are strong and lasting.  It is the least we can do .

Also – I wrote a piece that ran on the Jewish Daily Forward’s “Forward Thinking” blog about the Jewish angle on the stories about Newtown. Thanks to the Forward for the opportunity to share my thoughts with their readers.   I wish everyone a calm and quiet week!


  1. Thanks for sharing those words Tanya.

    Bless you and your little ones and your family and all of us!


    Nick and Joanne

  2. I LOVED this post. Thank you for writing it.
    I presented Hanukkah to my daughter’s preschool class two weeks ago. She, like your son, is the only Jewish child at the school. I, too, wish that Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and similar subjects were left out of the school curriculum, but they are not. So, (obliging the request of her teacher) I ‘joined them.’ With all the Christmas talk and activities going on in her class, I did my best to interest the children in a little Hanukkah. I made latkes, brought jelly doughnuts, and played dreidel. I borrowed a wooden Hanukkah play set from my synagogue and left it with the class for the week to play with. It had a wooden menorah with removable candles and flames as well as some wooden gelt, a dreidel, and latkes w/ frying pan and spatula. The kids seemed to enjoy it. I received a few ‘thank yous’ from other parents as well for sharing our traditions.
    The lead teacher and her aides did a good job of presenting Hanukkah in class on their own as well. They sang many songs about Hanukkah (many I didn’t even know). They made Popsicle stick Stars of David, colored menorahs, and even did a cut and paste activity of ordering pictures of a mouse lighting a menorah in sequence. I was pretty impressed since, like I said earlier, she is the only Jewish child in the school.
    I hope our children continue to have positive holiday time experiences in school as they grow.

  3. Thanks for commenting and your support, It sounds like you did a great presentation, we were not brave enough to attempt latkes and it was too early for sufganiot. It is an interesting dilemma, I keep thinking about. I look forward to following your blog.

  4. I’m getting here a bit late but still appreciate your words very much. I also enjoyed the article and the notion of bridges – thank you for being so thoughtful.

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