Newtown, Conn. --- (Today) At this time of year, social media becomes a magical, mood-lifting loop of first-day-of-school pictures filled with painstakingly selected outfits and excited smiles that remind parents how quickly their children are growing before their eyes. We try to outsmart time, capturing the once-a-year moments that make them still feel like our “babies” — because, of course, that’s how they will always remain in our hearts.
Last year, for the first time ever, I didn’t take a picture on the first day of school. Although it pained me to know I would never have a photo of my son Jake’s first day in fourth grade, consciously recording that moment would have been even more painful — because for once, I couldn’t outsmart time. Where two beautiful little boys had once posed, now there would be only one.
Only one, because eight months earlier, on December 14, 2012, my younger son Dylan was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, along with 19 classmates and six brave educators. And the first day of school in our house would never be the same.
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Courtesy of Hockley family
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