I remember being sad that summer was nearly over, but, if honest, excited when all the school supplies started showing up in the Target aisles (although, let's be real...it sort of made you want to scream seeing it in early June, right???).
I remember thinking about all the new little ones I'd be in charge of that upcoming school year! Thinking about how much fun we'd have and all the growth I'd see. I was excited to put new name tapes on each desk and create bulletin boards with my new kids' names outside my door!
So, I remember being where you are now.
And, I know you are busy. I do. Gracious, do I know you are out spending tons of your own money and putting in a million of your 'summers off' hours into your classroom making it perfect for each new child who will walk in your door in just a few weeks.
I know you have a lot on your plate, even though school hasn't even started.
But, I'd like to ask you a favor, if I could?
(Former) teacher to teacher?
I'd like for you to know there is one who won't be in your class this year.
He should have been.
I prayed for years for him and when we chose the house to live in, we picked out your school just for him.
He had brown eyes and brown hair and was probably going to be a very tall little boy, based on how tall he was when he was born and how tall his daddy is.
He loved music! Much like his little brother, if it had a beat, he'd bounce around to it. He wasn't much of a night owl, and he was always so good to Mama when I wanted to sleep!
He was going to start piano this year. His Daddy and I sat in church watching little ones play the piano and we'd say to each other that when he was old enough, he'd take piano. This would have been the year I started him, and we'd have a piano in our front room, right by the window, so I could hear him practice while I cooked him dinner.
I bet he would have been a lot like I was in school. A smart boy who would ask a lot of questions, but I also think he'd have been a lot more quiet than I was because he'd have his daddy's scientific brain constantly formulating new questions in his head.
When it got cold, you'd probably have a hard time convincing him to keep his hat on, because I think he'd have had his daddy's hair and it would stick out from all the static the cold, dry air would create. I don't think he would have liked that, and would just prefer to be hatless.
Sweet teacher, he probably would have been an only child, so he may not have been the best sharer. I'm sorry. I'd work my best with him, but if I am really honest, he was so loved and wanted, he'd probably have been spoiled rotten. I'd have worked with you in any way I could to help him be a good citizen in the classroom.
I would have LOVED to be your room mom! I would have worked with small groups and rearranged your bookshelves and graded papers and planned the best classroom parties you've ever seen! I'd waited so long to have him, I was unbelievably excited to be an involved PTA mom!
But, you'd also probably need to give me lots of tissues that first day (and maybe several more thereafter) because even though I knew he was ready for Kindergarten, and he wanted to go, I wouldn't be ready.
I would miss him.
Terribly. He was my whole heart.
So, I ask this of you.
This year, as you are preparing your classroom, remember that each one of those sweethearts you are about to call your own is someone's most precious, precious person. Remember that each Mama and Daddy who trusts you with his or her son or daughter gives a big piece of his or heart away to you every morning.
And, on those days where you would rather be anywhere BUT that classroom (and I get it!), know that there's a Mama who wishes more than anything her son was in your class.
His name was Matthew.
And he's the one who won't be there this year.