Connecticut School Tragedy and a Children's Christmas Story

1993...The Year of the Graduations (Junior High, High School and College)

1993…The Year of the Graduations (Junior High, High School and College)

We raised our three children in a small Connecticut town less than thirty minutes from yesterday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

For twenty-five years we lived happily and peacefully.  Our children went from elementary schools to middle schools to high schools and finally to college.

They didn’t always agree with our rules…and we didn’t always agree with their behavior.  But that is part of parenting and part of growing up.

There are twenty sets of parents in Sandy Hook tonight who have been robbed of this.  There are twenty sets of parents in Sandy Hook tonight who will never help their children ride two-wheelers, or watch them perform in school plays or walk them down the aisle when they get married.

My heart goes out to everyone involved…the residents of Sandy Hook/Newtown, the school staff, the family and friends of the shooter and those directly impacted…parents, friends and families of the children and adults who were murdered.

I know that every parent who heard about this is praying for the families.   If your children have heard about the tragedy, encourage them to talk about it.  Be honest with them…but age-appropriate.  Reassure them that this was a bad thing that happened, but that you are happy that they are fine and that you will keep them safe and that there will always be someone to take care of them.  Young children may not verbalize what they are feeling, so watch your child’s behavior.  If you see a sudden change, consult your pediatrician.  Even children who have not been directly involved may experience trauma and need counseling.

The holiday season should continue…because keeping to routines is one of the best ways to reassure children that all is well.  So I will  continue with my post as planned.

There is a holiday writing contest over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

dashing through the snow

The Contest:  Write a children’s holiday story beginning with any version of “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh.”  You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version “[Verb of your choice]ing through the [any substance you choose] in a [conveyance of any kind].”  For example, “Dashing through the sand in a two-wheeled donkey cart” or “Sloshing through the swamp in a green and white canoe” or “Flying through the air in a striped hot air balloon…”  You get the idea, I’m sure :)  But “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh” is completely acceptable too – whatever works for you :)  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words (because I have to read them all in the week before Christmas! :) )

I love Susanna’s contests…they encourage me to think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to writing children’s stories.

Because I’ve been so busy, I had left the writing of the story until the last-minute.  With the tragedy in the news, I was tempted to write a somber tribute…but decided instead to submit something light and silly…something that might bring a smile to the faces of the children who were in the school, but survived.  Based on the nursery rhymes that all children know and love, I give you, “Mother Goose, Apple Juice, Chocolate Mousse and More!”

Mother Goose, Apple Juice, Chocolate Mousse and More

by Vivian Kirkfield (228 words)

Hiking through the snow

In brand-new Christmas boots.

Tripping as we go

On gnarly old tree roots.

Humpty-Dumpty rolls,

Then Jack and Jill fall down.

Muffet drops her bowls

As we pass through the town.

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

We can’t find the sheep

Bo Peep has lost them all.

Wee Willie wants to sleep

He leans against the wall.

We’ll have lots to eat

Jack Horner brought his pie

Hot Cross Buns are sweet

And Jack Sprat made stir-fry.

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

Everyone is dressed

In special party clothes

Peter Piper’s vest

Has pickle juice and bows.

Mother Hubbard’s kids

Each wears a new chemise.

Bobby Shaftoe skids

On silver buckled knees

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

Here we are at last

Sweet music fills the air

Horn gives out a blast

Boy Blue blows with great flair.

Mary and her lambs

Hip-hop the whole night long.

Lucy Locket jams

With King Cole’s fiddlers’ song.

Mother Goose

Apple juice

Chocolate mousse and more

We’re on our way to The House Jack Built

For a holiday galore!

I hope you all enjoy this silly little children’s holiday rhyming story.  In the next few days, many others will be linking up on Susanna’s contest page.  Go and check them out…you won’t be disappointed!

And please come back on Sunday…I have a wonderful guest poster, author and amazing personality speaker, Sheila Glazov…you definitely won’t want to miss it!!!

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Comment by Vivian Kirkfield on December 17, 2012 at 2:06am

Thank you, Susan!  You picked out one of the most important points...age-appropriate discussion is crucial...we want to reassure our young children, not scare them. ;)

Comment by Susan Kimber-Skeete on December 16, 2012 at 10:51pm

I agree that it is very important that the discussion is age-appropriate.  We will continue to pray for the families affected.

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