Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to school bites the big one...

This back to school business is killing me. It's everywhere, as it should be, because in the next couple of weeks every kid in the country is going back to school. Every kid except mine.

This picture was taken on Kate's first day of first grade, last September. She attended what I consider to be the greatest school ever - the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park. Tonight was the night all new and returning students and parents went to meet their teachers. Kate, Peter and I should have been there, but we weren't.

Kate would have been in 2nd grade this year and Peter would have started kindergarten. I wonder who their teachers would have been and what new friends they would have made? Guess I'll never know. For the record, Kate wanted to skip 2nd grade to be in Mr. Burke's 3rd grade class. I'm not sure what it was, but she loved Mr. Burke.

I walked into a grocery store a few weeks ago and saw a 'back to school' supply display. I wanted to take every notebook, folder, pencil and pack of paper on the shelves and throw them all over the store. Sometimes I think I should just do something crazy like that to see how people react. No one would ever expect that from me. It would be kinda funny, for a minute, until they make me clean it up, pay for everything or cart me off to jail.

I miss buying school supplies and uniforms and stuff to pack their lunches. I stocked up on uniforms last year when they were on clearance. I never plan ahead like that and the one time I do, I don't even need them. Figures. I bought Kate and Peter each brand new L. L. Bean backpacks last know, the kind that last forever or you get your money back? Never in a million years did I think they'd outlast my kids. That's just completely fucked up.

My kids were so smart and so talented and they absolutely loved school. I'm sure Kate would have been a wonderful artist and, most likely, a cheerleader. What's really sad is that I can't remember all the things she wanted to be when she grew up. I know at one point she wanted to be a doctor, an artist and a singer all at the same time. I know there were other things too, but right now I don't recall what they were. I'm so afraid of forgetting.

Peter was an unbelievably deep thinker for a 4-year-old and had a huge attention span. Who knows what he could have accomplished if he had the chance? He liked to build 'vehicles' (not cars) with his legos and play games on his Leapster. He always wanted me to watch him play his Diego math game and would show me which shapes he was fitting into his patterns, including parallelograms and semicircles. He could also turn on my computer, log on to the internet, open a browser and find his favorite games. Is that normal for a 4-year-old?

I hope that those of you who read this won't feel bad sharing your kids' school experiences with me. I still want to be a part of everyone's lives and am genuinely interested in what's going on with your kids. There's nothing anyone can say that can make this worse. It just is. And it sucks. And even after 4 and a half months I can't truly comprehend it. My brain still believes that if it thinks hard enough it can figure out a way to undo this.


  1. I think hurling school supplies may be therapeutic. Or maybe just screaming. Lord knows I have wanted to do both while out, but for different reasons.

    I have to say having read people's comments both here and on your facebook page, either you have really great friends and acquaintances or people have come a long way (or, hopefully, both).

    I know so many people who don't talk about death, particularly when someone loses someone as tragically as you have. And sadly too many people have to suffer alone and/or in silence. I am glad you don't have to.

    As for forgetting things, consider writing down all the memories you can when you can, even if it means keeping a little notepad with you. My memory is crap, thanks to a combination of parenthood and unemployment. I am so amazed when I reread things I have written and have long since forgotten (well, sometimes, not so long, sadly).

  2. Thank you for the notepad suggestion. Maybe I will try that.

    You are absolutely right that I have great friends. I think I may have the most wonderful network of friends, family and supportive strangers in the world. :-) Even though I'm dealing with the loss of my children, I still have so much to be thankful for.

  3. Amy-- I'm soo sorry for your pain and I can't really imagine the depth of it. I never thought that this would be happening either and it's so bizarre to wrap my head around as well. I am very impressed by you throughout these past months and how you continue to find outlets for yourself and allow more love and support to come to you. You are very brave. And I know this blog really isn't about this, but thanks for sharing Kate and Peter stories. I loved hearing them and I miss hearing them. And I always thought there would be more time to spend with them as they got older and this really sucks. But with you sharing now, it's a way to hear stories that I haven't heard before....and you continue to spread their love and wonderfulness and for that I am very thankful. But I know that does not take away the pain...and for that I am soo sorry. You are always in my thoughts. Please call whenever you want.

  4. I am glad that you mention that you want to hear about everyone else's kids. I know that we do not talk on a regualar basis, but I am always afraid to bring up my kids. I was nervous bringing them to the walk. I often feel guilty. I think of you often and wonder how you go on. Your stories always bring memories of similar things with my kids. Thank you for sharing with us. So many of my friends have heard your story and ask how you are doing. Take care. Jenn Lynn-O.

  5. My thoughts are with you - really. I'm sure this time of year is difficult for you. I love the details you share from these wonderful little lives. I don't think you're forgetting - I think you're.... um ... sorting. So much to remember and cherish ...It comes to you when you need to reflect and share. This blog will probably help you remember, ramble, etc. - and.... you have so many people out there who want to hear it.