To This Year’s Kindergarten Teacher,
Your classroom is full. It bustles with kids in squeaky, new shoes and oversized backpacks. Some of their smiles are shy, their eyes wide and nerves evident. Others squirm and hop their way around the room, their energy radiating out through a little body that struggles to hold still.
“Welcome to Kindergarten!”
You’ve written each of their names on little placards dotted with star stickers. Over the coming year, these names will grow from mere faces into personalities and stories that you know and love.
But what you don’t know is that there’s a name missing from your class list this year.
You’re one spiderman backpack short.
One tousled-haired child with a mischevious grin is missing.
You don’t see him. But I do.
Today would have been his first day of school. This morning, I’d have packed sandwiches and picked out “first day” outfits for two instead of one. We’d have walked the hallway, hands full, dropping off a set of twins at your classroom door.
But five years ago, we said good-bye to our firstborn.
And today, your classroom is one short.
You’ll never get homework handed in with his name on it.
His feet will never race across the gym floor.
His voice will never join in during music class.
When I see your class full of students, I see him.
When I close my eyes, I see a classroom missing others too.
Instead of appearing on your class list, his name is engraved upon my heart. And this is just one of those many milestone days that stir up dreams of what could have been.
So if you see these “first-day mama tears,” know that it’s more complicated than simply watching my boy grow up. There are tears here too for the one who didn’t.
Because the truth is, on this first day of school, I’m simply missing the one who didn’t make it to Kindergarten.
A Mama With More