|Oct 10 2010|
A week ago today, I was contacted by a fellow teacher on the crisis phone tree who told me that a 2nd grade student from my small school was hit by a car and killed. They foundthe hit-and-run driver and he admitted it. No drugs or alcohol on board. Said he panicked and went home. He claims he went home to get his mom to go back with him and talk to the family. I believe he panicked....but. The little boy and his friend were skateboarding on their stomachs and the driver saw him out of the corner of his eye, but couldn't stop in time and ran over him. This last week has been horrible - the whole school has been mourning and the teachers are desperately trying to find the right words to the students' ever searching questions. I learned that, in this particular area, the kids all play in the street because there is nowhere else to play and I also learned that several of my students were down there when it happened. One of them saw the entire thing happen. Others were there shortly after and saw him before anyone arrived at the scene. Will they be haunted forever by what they saw? How will they handle it? What can I do to make it all better?
Went to family hour the night before the funeral and will never forget seeing that sweet little boy in the casket looking like a plastic doll because of the extensive damage and makeup needed to make him look halfway human again- no one should have to see that. I think, though, maybe I was meant to go because a little boy I had in first grade is now a fourth grader and he called my name. He was sitting in the second row alone and I was walking at the front to extend my condolences to the mother of the deceased. After I spoke with the mother, I went to sit with the fourth grader. He just melted into me and started to sob and I did too as I just sat there and put my arms around him. WHY??? Why did that precious student of mine have to sit there and see his friend in a box? It should never happen that a mother has to bury her child. I have the child's brother (1st grader from another class) in my class every day for two hours with a reading group. What do I say to him when he returns?
On top of that, my youngest son is about the age of the victim and thinks he is invincible. I wake up from the most horrible nightmares, sweating. The nightmare is the same - MY son is in that casket. I am paralyzed with fear.
I have told both my sons they will not be riding on their bikes or scooters anywhere unless my husband or I am with them. I have told my youngest he can NEVER ride across the street again. We live in a nice little neighborhood, but there are some drivers who go through here way too fast. Of course, after I told my son that, I stood watching him and, after making circles in our driveway, ended up across the street. I lost it and practically shrieked at him to get back over here - he looked surprised, then said, "Sorry mom, I just forgot." Me too. For just a moment.
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