Friday, January 14, 2011

The Past Two Weeks

I had a really funny post all ready to type up on January 2nd, about how I jumped in frozen Lake Erie with a bunch of my equally crazy friends. I literally was going to sit down and create it. And then I checked the answering machine.

I heard two messages both with the same words: "tragedy," and "student."

We lost a student to suicide on January 2nd. It has been a very, very difficult two weeks. I've held it together at school for the most part, and then just melted down when I get home. This happened in my school six years ago, too. I'm finding it's a whole new dynamic this time around, now that I have a little boy of my own. I can't even imagine the grief that this family must be going through. It has kept me up at night. It has me breaking down crying while I'm trying to make dinner or give Emery a bath. Several times last week, it had me run upstairs to my room to slam the door shut so I could just sit in the dark and cry for a minute. Partially because I was angry, and partially because I was so, so saddened.

This week was better. The students seemed better, too. The rest of the school year will not be the same, but each day gets a little easier to walk by that locker or for the students to see the empty chair in their classroom.

Needless to say, I haven't had much time to write anything training-related as I just haven't been myself here the past two weeks. I've been running and biking like crazy, but also running myself into the ground a bit as the lack of sleep thing catches up with me by about Thursday. Hopefully that will subside any day now.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share something I posted on my blog for Bug. At the wake, I walked by all the pictures of Micah as a little boy, with his brothers and sisters and parents. And it reminded me that we all start out this way--with chubby cheeks and a big smile. Every student has that inside somewhere. My heart still hurts for his family as they deal with the loss of their little boy.

I know that the days of you calling me "Mama" are numbered, Bug.

This week, we registered you for preschool.

Two weeks ago, we finally moved you into your "big boy bed."

Dare I say it...? Potty training seems to be almost done.

But you still call me "Mama." And I love it more than you know. I want to bottle it up and record it and play it over and over again when you are bigger than me...when you are in Middle School and want nothing to do with me...and when, inevitably, someday you are upset with me because I'm telling you that you can't do something you want to do.

(I mean, I do that now, too. But when you're screaming and throwing a fit, you still scream, "NO I DON'T WANNA DO THAT RIGHT NOW MAMA!" Still "Mama," see? Even in a meltdown, it melts me.)

Tonight I was the one to put you to bed, which I've kind of been loving lately. Even though it takes about 18 hours to get you to put on your PJ's, go upstairs, brush your teeth, and actually LAY DOWN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, eventually we get to the point where you say, "I just want you to lay with me a little bit Mama" and, of course, I do. Immediately.

Usually we read a book or two. You always pick this really annoying Power Rangers book full of made-up words. I tried to BS my way through it tonight and you caught me. I was skimming and just describing the characters on a page that they had their ridiculous introductions with made up words, and you said, "No, Mama, you didn't say that the red guy's name was NICK."

And wouldn't you know it? On that very page, Nick the Red Mystic Power Ranger introduced himself.


Anyway, I read most of the book despite my futile attempts to outsmart you, and then it was time for me to go. But you begged me to stay a bit more. So I did.

After about a minute, you put your arm around me and said, "I love you, Mama."

And I can't help it--anytime I hear you say that, it makes me immediately tear up. But you went one step further.

"Thank you, Mama."

I told you thank you for being a sweet Bug. You sighed and closed your eyes and then said it again.

"I love you, Mama. Thank you, Mama."


And then you said it one last time.

"I love you, Mama. Thank you, Mama."

Then you said the phrase we always say when we're trying to get YOU to go to sleep:

"You need your sleep so we can play tomorrow, Mama."

And with that, I kissed your cheek, told you I loved you to the moon and back, and tried not to bawl as I tiptoed to your door to slowly shut it while you snuggled with your monkey and blanket.

These moments are passing too fast. You bring me such joy and I can't even begin to put it into words.

Thank you, Bugaboo.

I love you,


Mnowac said...

Oh honey. I hear you, I lost a very important person to suicide a few years ago. IT is pretty much the worst thing ever, you are left with so many questions that you will never have answers for and you spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to piece the last days together like some kind of forensic scientist. My heart goes out to his family and the students left to try and wrap their brains around the why. That is such a sweet story about JZ, love it.

Lauren Starks said...

It's always so hard to lose kids so young.

A side note... Don't count your numbered days of Mama. Mine are 16, 14, 12, 11 and I'm still Mama. I know 40-ish year old men who still call their Mama's "Mama." At least in the south, Mama is a term of everlasting endearment that doesn't fade with age.

Anonymous said...

oh wow. YOU made me cry. i'm glad you're so happy...

Pharmie said...

What a sad and sweet, sweet post at the same time. It made me double cry! I hope you are getting a chance to take a few breaths this weekend :)

TriEric said...

Awesome post Z. You are a great mom, teacher and friend. Keep sharing and enjoying who you are.

These memories will last a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

My 24 year old calls me "mommy"- especially when she is giving me a hug and telling me she loves me. I bet Bug will always call you "mama" also, especially if he knows later how much it means to you.
There have been many memorial services in Tucson lately. A former student passed away just before Christmas. The son of a good friend of mine was lost last Saturday in that massacre. My former mother-in-law passed away and many people here are still grieving about the shooting. Time heals. Hang in there "mama".

Velma said...

I am so sorry for the loss at school. Cherish the time with the kiddos :)

Alili said...

Well, I just fell to pieces. I am so sorry for your community's loss. As for the note to Bug - I had to run upstairs and kiss my own little boy.

MissFit Island said...

So very sorry for your loss. It saddens me to no end to hear about suicide - especially in someone so young.

I never knew the depth of love until I had children of my own. Mine are now 13 and 11 and although both have 'rules' for me when I show up at thier school(no kisses, no big waves hello...), both are more than willing to give big hugs and will curl up with me on the couch.

Sea Sprout Farmer said...

I have a little boy who melts my heart every day just like you describe. He is only a year and a half and has just started blowing me kisses from across the room on his own accord and it is such an endearing gesture.

I am a fellow musician and triathlon friend of Curly Su that have enjoyed your words for a few years, especially now as a mother.