December 19, 2012

Thinking Of Newtown


Our editor recounts the mixed emotions of watching his third-grader’s dance festival this week.

By Eric Messinger


Because of my wife’s and my respective work schedules, I’m the hands-on parent during weekday mornings, getting my children, ages 8 and 12, up, fed, and over to school before the late bells ring. My routine feels somewhat suburban-like: First I drive my daughter to her middle school, then I return to walk my son to his neighborhood school. Following the massacre in Newtown, it’s been hard not to pursue my morning routine without getting a little emotional. And then there was Tuesday morning and the Third Grade Dance Festival.

This year’s theme was Hip Hop–and the concert was the culmination of weeks of extracurricular enrichment with dancers and instructors from Peridance, a Manhattan-based dance company and school. I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a school dance performance in which the kids (and the parents) genuinely enjoyed themselves as much as they did on Tuesday. Think of those grade school dance festivals of yesteryear, with folksy costumes and dances inspired by world cultures. Now compare that to the scene yesterday: all that swerving, break dancing, and side-to-side head bobbing—all that posturing that kids love to so much.

My wife started crying in the middle of it. Of course I sensed what it was all about, but I asked her anyway. “I’m just thinking about all of those parents who will no longer be able to enjoy events like this,” she said.

Another reason why I love you, I thought.

Eric Messinger is Editor of New York Family. He can be reached at emessinger@manhattanmedia.com

By the way, if you haven’t already heard, the Connecticut PTSA is spearheading an effort to greet the students of Sandy Hook with a winter wonderland of snowflakes at their new school. This is a great chance to get creative and show our support. To find out where your family can send some snowflakes, and also to learn more about the PTSA’s other fundraising efforts to help the families of Newtown, click here.

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