I made a big step for me today. I’m a member of the Junior League of Greater Princeton and our major impact project is ROCKETS. There are several components to the program but one aspect is our monthly classroom visit to a local headstart site. The children in the program are aged 2 1/2 – 5 years. I usually go to the monthly classroom visit but today, was the first time I was able to return to the program since Alexander passed.
I really didn’t know how I would handle being there. I’ve been going to this center 4 years. At times it was hard. The activity started out with reading From Head to Toe by Eric Carle followed by singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. This was one of Alexander’s favorite songs and we sang it a few times a week. It was definitely a big part of helping him learn his body parts. Thankfully, another volunteer was in the class and she led the song while I prepared other parts of the day’s activities.
I did catch myself a few times looking at the kids and feeling sad because I know Alexander will never get this experience. He did go to daycare one day a week but it’s not the same as going to school everyday.
Aside from being around the kids, the only part of the morning I was dreading was having to tell the gentleman who delivers the food to the site that Alexander has passed. He’s a nice guy and every time he sees me there, he always asks boy or girl. He knows at one point he saw me pregnant but can’t quite remember that I’ve had the baby. We were going through the activity so quickly this morning, I thought I’d miss him and not have to share my terrible news. As we were wrapping up the activity, I saw him come into the building. He saw me and asked his usual “boy or girl” question. I walked over to him and quietly told him that Alexander had passed. He expressed his sympathy and we each went back to what we had been doing.
Our organization also provides the ROCKETS activities to another facility in the area to children in the same 2 1/2 – 5 year age range. I’m not sure I’ll be able to return to that facility for a while because Alexander always went with me. I have happy memories of him participating in the activities with the other kids but it would just be too sad for me to be there without him.