A horrible nightmare

I will start off by saying that my little family is healthy and safe. The little man is doing well, he had his first set of immunizations yesterday with a slight fever but seems to be feeling a lot better today.

Something happened three days ago that I hoped would never happen in my teaching career. In fact it is so difficult that I’m having trouble putting words to how I feel because I can’t figure out how I actually feel. I live in a small town of about 18,000 and this has rocked our community to the core. A student that I had in my class in kindergarten and grade one who is now currently in grade 2 was killed in a horrific car accident along with his mother. I job shared in kindergarten and taught him part time and purposely put him on my class list for full time grade one because I enjoyed him so much. M taught him at preschool for two years before I had him in kindergarten and grade one so we have quite the connection to this child and his family. Right now I am home on mat leave for the year and feeling weirdly disconnected from the school community so I don’t really know what to do. Last night I went to my old class website and went back through the whole school year to look at every picture I have with him in it. I don’t know if I’m in shock or being realistic or just naïve. I don’t know what feel. I feel heartbroken for the family and nervous of how all the children are coping and I also feel thankful that I was able to have those two years with him. He was 7. 7 years old.

When you become a teacher they tell you not to have favorites but I can say without a doubt he was my favorite student and it was obvious. He was quite the little monkey who would often get in trouble outside at recess and lunch but I never had a problem with him we just “got” each other. He is definitely the child I connected with most in my career thus far. I’m so glad I let him get away with all the little shenanigans he pulled and really had the time to connect and bond with him. I loved him.

Because his younger sister still goes to M’s daycare and I taught him we both had quite a connection with his mom. In fact the day before we flew out for Christmas holidays the daycare was having a Christmas concert and we had quite a long chat with her and she got to meet and hold our baby and we talked about her sons school year and how much I missed him. I told her I would try to be his teacher next year in grade 3 and we told her that we hoped our son grows up to have parts of her son in him as we both thought he was such a neat kid.

This boy was unsual but not strange. I keep racking my brain for some of the stories he told me as any day of the year I was able to tell the whole staff at lunch a funny story he said but of course I can’t think of anything now. That’s bothering me. I’m scared I won’t ever be able to remember any of the funny things he did. His mom told him for his birthday in June he could have a big party if he wanted to invite the whole class and he told his mom no thank you I would only like to invite my one friend and me (his teacher). He often asked me if I could play “what does the Fox say” on the projector for the class to dance to it and mostly I obliged. It was fun. He always sat beside me during school assemblies and in class meetings. Sometimes out of choice and sometimes out of necessity.

I wonder if I feel weird about this whole situation because I now have my own son. I do feel terribly sad but I look at my little boy who right now is waking up from sleep and smiling at me and I think that I need to be thankful for my good life. Mostly my feeling is that I don’t want him to be forgotten. I also hope that I never have to go through this again with another student in the rest of my career. I feel like I have no words. I am so sad.

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4 Responses to A horrible nightmare

  1. AndiePants says:

    Oh, this is so very sad. I’m sending all of you lots of love and healing.

  2. mamaetmaman says:

    As teachers, we have the potential to develop such amazing connections with students and their families. Clearly, you did here, and it sounds like you enriched this little boy’s life. I’m sorry for your loss. I know there is probably a little hole in your heart right now, but it will mend in time.

  3. Becca says:

    This is a horrible tragedy. I’m so sorry for the loss of this special little boy and his mother.

  4. Caitlin says:

    I am so, so sorry. I coach youth soccer, and I have gotten close to several families in a similar way. It absolutely breaks my heart to think of anything happening to one of the kids. I hope that time has brought some peace to your community.

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