Friday, March 4, 2011

Come Monday Morning


Come Monday morning I will take my son to swimming lessons. I will carry him into the building and hold his hand tightly as we leave. I will breathe the smell of him: boy and sweat and chlorine when I get him dressed. I will give him a peck on the cheek and he will hold onto me, for balance.

I substitute school. Why, on earth, I don't know. But I do. And I sort of like it--most days.

On Thursday, I was at the Junior High--a place I'd never subbed at before. It has wide hallways and tall lockers and students who were dramatizing about their new health unit on sex ed.
Halfway into 3rd period a 'stay-put' order was issued. At the high school, where I usually teach, that means the police are bringing in the drug dogs to sniff for marijuana and chewing tobacco. But then I heard something about someone being hit by a car in the parking lot. We waited. We did our assignment. We hung out. We started a movie 0n the Revolutionary War, I quickly changed it to the movie "Holes." Someone came to my door.
"We're in lockdown. Put on a movie. It could be two hours, maybe three."
I knew the only thing that needed a three hour lockdown from an accident in the parking lot was an accident with a fatality.
"What happened?" I asked.
They didn't want details released. They didn't want students to know. "A 3 year old was hit by a car in the parking lot." That's all she could tell me.
"What is a three year old doing in the parking lot of the Junior High on a school day?" I asked. But as I said it, I knew: "Oh, no, swimming lessons." She nodded. My heart sank.

I bring my son twice a week to swimming lessons. When I work, his babysitter brings him. The pool and the Junior High share a parking lot. It's not a wide lot. Not one where a car can even move very fast. But I knew, that my son likes to get away from me, that he twists his hand out of mine. I knew that it could have been him. I knew too, that it could have been me, driving when a small child darted -- excited for the hot tub and the warm water and to monkey crawl along the pool walls -- in front of my car.

I still don't know the details of the accident. I just know that it makes your heart hurt for whose child it was and for the one who hit her. I wondered how I could be in a classroom, not far away and not felt the whole world shudder at the loss of such a tiny precious soul. I don't know how one heals from such a loss. I don't know how a parent's heart keeps beating, but it does.




Come Monday morning I will take my son to swimming lessons. I will carry him into the building and hold his hand tightly as we leave. I will breathe the smell of him: boy and sweat and chlorine when I get him dressed. I will give him a peck on the cheek and he will hold onto me, for balance.

I'll hold onto him too.

8 comments:

Wendy said...

That was beautiful, DeAnn. I know, I just cried. I've spent SO much time in that parking lot. Lugging my own kids who HAVE gotten away from me, and lugging the kids I babysat who HAVE gotten away from me. Dang. The hurt must be suffocating...
Heck of a first day at the Middle School, hu?

Betty Edit said...

I wondered how I could be in a classroom, not far away and not felt the whole world shudder at the loss of such a tiny precious soul.

Yes.

Beautiful post. Thank you.

Seegmiller Six said...

thanks webbie - I think I'm going to go cuddle my cuties now....:)

Mommy said...

I love it! You have amazing way with words.

Janet

Heather said...

I felt it from multiple viewpoints as I read... thank you for making it real with your gift for words. My prayers go out to those families.

webster said...

Wow, that does make your heart word. And you do have such an amazing way with words. I think I'll grab my little ones and let those loving moments last a little longer.

Heather said...

Sometimes I wonder how we don't all feel the whole world shudder at such a tragic loss.

Lynne said...

Darling girl, I've neglected you and for that I am sorry. Sorry for myself. This is wonderfully written, as always.

Love you to, for always