Monday, August 31, 2009
Last year, out of the blue, one of my students started giving me huge attitude. Don't get me wrong, she was always full of attitude, it had just never been directed my way. I would try to check in with her, see if she was alright, and she would ignore me. I figured it was a phase, or possibly a defense mechanism. I had been her teacher since 4th grade, her only constant. She was now in the fourth month of 8th grade. It is not uncommon for kids of poverty to pull away from relationships before they know they are about to lose them, in her case, leaving for high school. The change in our relationship saddened me, but I felt that she needed to do what was best for her.
In the midst of this, I lost Grey.
I returned to school after Christmas break when the kids did, Grey being gone less than a month. Down the hall came my student. Before I knew it she was in my arms, crying.
"Mrs. Morris, I'm so sorry I was mean to you. I just didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to tell you that I'm pregnant."
Last Friday afternoon I got a note in my box. It was from that student. She had her little baby and couldn't wait to bring him up to school to show me. 4 o'clock Monday rolled around, and in the craziness of the day, I forgot to return her call. At 4:05 I was called to the office. I had a visitor. My first thought was that of an unsettled parent.
As I looked through the glass windows of the front office, I saw my former student holding her two week old son.
Deep breath. I put on a smile and walked in.
As I hugged her, she handed him to me. He was the first baby I have held since I lost Grey. He was so little, so perfect, so innocent. I spent a good 15 minutes with her, holding, feeding, burping her little boy. I passed him off, hugged her good-bye, walked down the hallway and cried.
I know how important it was for her to share her baby with me. But nothing, nothing made me feel more broken than holding that newborn baby.
The selfish side of me wonders how a 15 year old girl can have a healthy baby, while I can't. My world revolves around my boys, yet because of me, my make-up, my baby suffered from a horrible disease that cost him his life.
I am so sorry; sorry that I couldn't fix you, sorry that you suffered because of what first lived in me, sorry that you had to hurt, sorry that you had to leave. As long as I live, I will carry with me these faulty genes as a reminder of what you could have never been. You did the absolute most with what you were given. For that, I will always be so proud and grateful. The only reason I can walk with my head up is because of what you accomplished in your short eleven months.
Forever Your Mom