Came in the mail a week before school started: Emergency Contact Information Card. Instructions were to please complete and return with our child the first day of school.
Filled this baby out eleven times before for the same school. Simple. Takes about five minutes. Happy to say my emergency contacts have remained the same over the years, too. Just goes to show you that those that show up in your life, really show up.
Tears filled my eyes as I finished it, realizing that this twelfth time is the last time. Next year at this time we will not be filling out any paper work. Our time here is drawing to a close. Our womb, our sanctuary, our safe haven for our children will cease to exist for us. A long chapter will close. For good.
As my son starts eighth grade it’s bittersweet. There are aspects of life in a small community I will not miss. Not one little bit. But what I will miss is profound, and my fear is it will never be replaced. Even if my son gets to go where I’m hoping/praying/begging and pleading he will go, it will only be for four years. Tops. One third of the time we’ve spent at our little K-8.
Went to the first day of school paraliturgy and sat next to my friend, and fellow special needs parent. Could hardly look at her without crying. As we held hands and said the Our Father as a church, as a student body, as a community, my tears moved freely down my checks. I watched as kids across the aisle from one another stretched out to grab hands. Aisle after aisle disappeared as children united. In love.
That was the last first day of school. Soon there will be the last Halloween Carnival. The last Advent Program. The last Field Day. The last of the best years of my son’s life.