Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rainbow Ribbon

Let me be clear...I have an irrational love of ribbons in little girls' hair.
And JoAnn Fabrics feeds my addiction nicely.
We have basketball ribbon and valentine ribbon and Santa Claus get the idea.
Wrapping Caroline's ponytail with a ribbon and sending her off into the world makes me feel like she has a love letter special version of the kiss-in-the-palm mom love from that adorable book, The Kissing Hand.

And when you're in 3rd grade you're nearing the end of the ribbon-in-the-hair era...although I do have to say that sometimes if you're lucky there can be a bit of a resurgence in junior high or even high school for a brief moment.

Anyway, I fixed her hair into our usual tiny braid and then ponytail combo and placed my 
Rainbow heart was happy.
I kissed her good-bye at school and whispered my 2015 words of wisdom to her, "Remember Caroline, "no matter how small", remember it, find a way to do it. Make it a great day. I love you."

No matter how small.

Based on this quote...and the truth of it.

So I sent her off.
To her little school...with her cousins and friends...saying The Pledge of Allegiance...

working on multiplication (we're struggling with our 4's)...
reading and thinking and learning and navigating our world.

Only to receive an email at noon that let me know her school was locked down.
Everyone was safe I assured.


Agonizing minutes later it was revealed via social media that a bomb threat had been made to another local elementary school that was very very close to Caroline's school.

A bomb threat?
To an elementary school?

Those 4 times tables are really bugging you??

What on earth?

Now I am a teacher and I did live through lockdowns at my old school...but we worked near a prison where prisoners escaped and where helicopters searched and well, it (kind of) made sense.
And that was WAY before social media and seeing things unfold in real time.

Our parents often didn't know a lockdown occurred at all.

In 2015, I was part of a group text almost immediately.
Scared parents were sharing information.
Reassuring each other.
It was beautiful.
And awful.

I just wanted my Rainbow Ribboned Girlie next to me.
So did everyone else.

I received this email from Caroline's teacher...the whole class the middle of the lockdown...

"I just wanted to let you all know that we are doing very well and are safe in our classroom. The students are aware that something is wrong in the community and that they are in the safest place, besides their own homes, they can be. This morning, we conducted science experiments which included ice cream, marshmallows, fruit loops, chocolate, graham crackers and much more so, along with their lunches, we have plenty to eat! We will continue to reassure them and keep the afternoon fun."


I know I've said it before but

This teacher might have been feeling just a little bit of concern for her own two children...
but we didn't know it.

I got tears in my eyes.

To be so brave.
So kind.
So loving.
So focused.
In the middle of confusion and uncertainty...
honestly, there is no other word other than hero.

The other elementary school was evacuated in less than 30 minutes time.
Lunch was provided by local high school students
and teachers and anybody else who could pitch in.

Those teachers tried to keep a sense of calm and security and safety outside...
in a park...with a bomb squad checking out their school.

So if you haven't stopped and thanked a teacher might want to do just that...
or a principal, or a school secretary, or a janitor, or a lunch lady, or in our case, the lunch guy.

YOU, my friends, are the real deal.
Made of the right stuff.
Living examples of what we hope our kids might be when they grow up.

Thank you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your cool heads, your big hearts and your courage.

"No matter how small" turned into "no matter how BIG" on Thursday.


  1. Love this, Beth. These situations are so scary for the kids-and the teachers. I'm so happy everything turned out ok.

  2. Jennifer, I know all too well how much you get it and how close to home this is for you...thanks for your kind words...and thank goodness everything was all just a drill. Ugh! Jack and Mary Kate never had a single lockdown. Patrick had one. Caroline has had two already and she's only in 3rd grade (!) ...our world is on edge that's for sure.