Today is my school's Spring Fling. It's a yearly event that helps to raise money for the Parent Teacher Organization. Set up as a mini carnival, it spans the entire back field and bus loop. There are bounce houses, ring tosses, cotton candy, and all sorts of family fun. Each grade level sponsors a game or food booth and teachers and parent volunteers take turns running them. It's a grand old time. I'm not going.
The Spring Fling was supposed to be Kenley's grand debut. She should have been almost three months old. I was going to wrap her up in a sling and show her off to everyone. I was going to see my students again after being on maternity leave and they would have been so happy to see me too. They would have excitedly told me all about their field trip to Wonder Works today, and I would have signed their yearbooks. They would have put their finger under Kenley's hand and smiled at her adorableness. Parents would have come to congratulate me and we would have chatted about my long, sleepless nights and how I was adjusting to parenthood. Mike and I would have walked around with our little one, proud and happy and excited. But, that's not going to happen.
I miss my school family. I miss my coworkers. I miss my students. I feel like I have abandoned them. But, I can't go today. I can't face them. I am afraid. I am afraid of being overwhelmed, of being bombarded by sympathetic eyes. I don't want to bring sadness to their celebration. I am afraid people will ask me questions I don't know how to answer without falling apart. I don't want to fall apart in front of my students - or their parents - or the people I work with. I'm actually quite tired of falling apart, but that can't always be helped.
I hate that my life is not what it is supposed to be. I hate that I am here at my computer instead of rocking Kenley in her nursery. I hate that someone else is taking my cookies to the Spring Fling bake sale because I am too chicken to show my face. I hate that I can't turn back time and save her. An entire life is gone. An entire set of events that should have been will never be - and it hurts more than you can imagine.