CTMirror illustration

There were no shots fired.

About 350 people filled the auditorium of the Norwalk elementary school my grandchildren attend. My wife and I; my son with his son on his lap; my daughter-in-law and her mother — all of us sat in a row toward the back. The artwork of all the children decorated the walls.

I watched an 18-month old girl with a tiny plume of hair on top practice kissing a relative. Open-mouth touches cheek.

The fifth grade opened the show with bucket drumming; the fifth grade string ensemble played songs from Chanukah. A little boy played a tune beautifully on the violin, accompanied by his music teacher on guitar.

There were no sudden sounds like firecrackers.

The third grade dancers took the stage, followed by the fourth grade dancers (bigger, smoother) and then the fifth grade dancers (bigger still, and even smoother).

There was no panic, running towards the exits, screaming.

A chorus of all third, fourth and fifth graders — perhaps 100 children — belted out three holiday songs, ending with “Feliz Navidad.”

There were no dead children and parents. Everyone celebrated, kissed and hugged, took photos and videos, and went home. Everyone survived.

How beautiful it is to watch children sing and dance and play instruments and celebrate the holidays. How sad it is that the threat of random gun violence hangs over even our most precious moments. 

William McCarthy lives in Norwalk.