Friday, May 24, 2013

If Only They Knew.

The other day, while waiting for the bell to ring to let students go to their next classes, a conversation between students caught me in my tracks.  I stopped entering grades into the gradebook, my ears perked up, and my breath hitched.  My heart was racing, and I felt like I was going to vomit. 
I stayed calm and professional, of course, but everything in me wanted to just run out of the room.

"Yeah, I guess I'm the older twin.  I mean I was born eight minutes before my brother.  So I don't know, I guess you can call that older, but we're basically the same age."

Other students respond to that, but I can't hear them.  Then he says,

"We were a MONTH early!"

When no one seems particularly impressed, he goes on, "I had jaundice too, which is where your skin is all yellow and they have to put lights on you."

Another student pipes in, as if to show him up,

"Well, when I was born, my umbilical cord was wound tightly around my neck.  Like, a bunch of times.  I was purple, and I wasn't moving or even breathing!  Isn't that craaaazy?"

More responses that I can't hear, as I'm feeling dizzy at this point.

Then she says, "Yeah, they even put me in the stupid kid classes when I started school, because they thought I was going to be slow from not getting enough oxygen.  But I never needed them."

Someone responds, "Uhhhh, no kidding, Ms. Straight A's!"

Laughter ensues.

I'm dying inside.


  1. That is crazy. Crazy you made it and my baby didn't. Life is crazy kids. If only you knew.

  2. Oh my dear. So hard. I hate the way that this kind of innocent conversation just springs out at us and kind of rugby tackles us to the ground. It must be impossibly hard when you can't just run out of the room, which is usually an option in a job such as mine.

  3. Ugh, this is a stunning piece but OMG that hurts.

    I get a lot of people in my line of work (disability insurance, basically) complaining about how awful their life is and that I have no idea how bad things can be. It's really all I can do to apologize for their misfortunes, when what I want to do is shake them and tell them it really could be MUCH worse. :(

  4. So, so hard. The landmines can be almost anywhere, can't they? I went to a Preeclampsia Walk a couple of weeks ago. I was glad to do it, glad to raise the money, but didn't realize how hard it would be - to see all those babies who survived, when my baby didn't. It takes a toll on the heart.

  5. Ah, my comment disappeared!

    So very hard. The pitfalls are all around us, aren't they, in unexpected ways. We went to a Preeclampsia Walk a couple of weeks ago. I was happy to be there and raise money and awareness. But I didn't realize that it would be hard, too - to be surrounded by babies that lived, when mine died. It's hard to reconcile.

  6. My heart hurts just reading it. I can't imagine how it felt to sit there and hear it. So sorry Lindsay!