Tonight I had Alyssa's first conference with her preschool teacher. Three years ago Joe and I sat with the same teacher for Luke's first school conference.
On my way there while I was driving, I was talking to myself out loud in my car, listing all of the things in this life that I am "lucky" to have....listing the reasons why my life is great....listing things that I am thankful for. I sounded like a crazy person. I was doing this because I was desperately trying to occupy my mind with something other than what I was about to do, which was sit in a chair across from Alyssa's teacher, alone. God, it hurts so much. I have a really hard time with the school things. I have yet to have a conference with Luke's teachers in which ANYONE does not shed a tear, teachers included.
I thought for sure that I would be okay tonight. I had some questions about Alyssa and whether or not the teacher hears her talking about her daddy in school. I know she does, I know that she has told some of the kids that "her daddy died" and they just look at her with blank stares. They don't know what to say to her, why would they? They don't even understand what she is saying I am sure. To most 4 year olds, daddies don't die. Maybe grandparents and pets and old people die. But not daddies. My heart breaks for Alyssa, thinking of her admission of this huge void in her life, being met with silence. But maybe she doesn't need anything. Maybe a kid just wants to say it.
I pretty much bailed on the conference after my first mention of Joe, because I felt my lip start to quiver and my hands shake. I just wanted to get out of there at that point because I was not up for an uncomfortable moment and I knew I wasn't going to cry through my questions to the teacher. I just wanted out and I'll talk to her another time. I'll tell her all the usual stuff....if they do anything for father's day, please consider Alyssa at that time...she has others in her life that she can make a project for, her Uncle Jeff or one of her Grandfathers.....please let me know if you hear of anything that she talks about in terms of her father or any situations that arise.....please let me know of any unusual behavior or anything out of character for her. All these questions I thought I would never ask, masked in words that make it seem bearable. I made it back to my car before I really started to cry, or maybe just out the door, I don't really remember.
The teacher had nothing but great things to say about my daughter. Wonderful in every way.