Another school year is upon us. The excitement of seeing friends again. Anxiety over who to sit beside on the bus. The hustle of a daily routine. Every September families go through similar preparations, and feelings. Yet, there are others who yearn for that excitement, for the mundane school routine. I am one of those people. A mom who remembers a time when she had fun shopping for school supplies. Who got excited with her boys when shopping for clothing. I would know exactly what lunches I would make for them for the first day of school, at least a week before. I enjoyed it all.
It is all different now. This is the third year that Valin has climbed the bus alone to school. The third year to only seen one shadow as we walk down the street to the bus stop. The third year the classroom will have an empty chair. That chair belongs to Madox, who should be starting grade 6. A new school, new group of friends, new classrooms. Yet, there lays that empty chair with no name assigned to it.
Some days I am envious looking at all my friends’ “first day of school” photo’s of their kids. Gushing with pride and love. Other days, I am angry at everyone whose lives have moved on, and still perfect like it was the day before. With a few days, I sit blankly at the photos, barely registering at what I am viewing. I would NEVER wish this pain on anyone, but I still ask why it was Madox and not another child. How devastating of me to think that. Why is one child worth more than another? They really aren’t. My bias will always pick my children, as you would pick yours. I just think about the kids who have terrible homes, terrible parents, terrible lives. Why couldn’t they be taken? It would be saving them from the horrid life they live. Leave the children with happy homes alone! My anger dissipates, and tears begin to flow at what I just thought. I hate the games my mind plays. No child deserves to die. No child deserves to suffer.
So I just carry on. Daydreaming about who Madox would tell me is his new friend. Complaining about all the tests he doesn’t want to study for. Telling me about his teacher and how funny/mean/boring he or she is. But I don’t hear any of that. There is only silence. There is forever an empty chair.