Observations on the rollercoaster ride that is parenting

I can see the red tail lights

Spring Break. Masked in all the leisure and freedom of this sunny two-week span of devil-may-care frivolity is the specter of Loss. The boys know it; they’ve pushed it aside to deal with later. I can see it cross their minds sometimes. Then they’ll shake it off and refocus on the here and now. Right now, they are enjoying every moment of the break. You’ll find them out on the trampoline, over at the park, hanging with friends…But, Jaden and Dillon have an awareness that when the sun sets on that final day of vacation and they lay their heads down to rest they will awaken to a new reality. Things will be different. Mrs. Robbins will be gone.

The boys will have a new teacher. Life has called Mr. and Mrs. Robbins away to North Carolina. Mr. Robbins went ahead early. Mrs. Robbins stayed until the break. Then Jaden and Dillon had to say goodbye for now…and so did we. Our family forged a strong relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Robbins. We’ve been on the inside of that moving van several times. Now we’re the ones standing in the street waving and watching the taillights disappear over the horizon. It hurts like hell to drive away, but it sure feels hopeless standing there watching the van pull away. We haven’t lost a friend. But we’ve certainly lost an ally. I tell myself that part of this was inevitable, really. The boys would have graduated from 1st grade in a few months and moved on to 2nd grade.They would’ve met a new teacher and adjusted to the new environment. Kendra and I will still need to engage with that teacher and stay involved in the classroom. We would still have to create a new ally. That’s what I say. But that doesn’t really cover it, and the boys are losing more than a teacher.

Mrs. Robbins was part of their everyday world. She would come over to the house and watch shows with Kendra. She would listen intently to them as they described (in great detail) their adventures in Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones games over dinner. She even jumped with them on the trampoline! This is significant. Invitations onto the trampoline are typically extended to dads (men) because the boys feel we can make them jump higher. Outside of Kendra, Mrs. Robbins is only the 2nd woman to have a standing invitation to jump with them. Point being, if you are not a dad and they want you on the trampoline, it is because they think you are fun and they like having you around. Some people’s love Language is Physical Touch, other people’s Love Language is Words of Affirmation. Jaden’s and Dillon’s Love Language is Trampoline.

Our boys are not the only kids in the class to feel this way. So many of them have personal connections with Mrs. Robbins. There were many sad faces and wet little eyes when the announcement was made. Mr. Robbins was a very unpopular man that day. But change is change. We find the positives and manage it the best way we can. The miles are there between us. So we stay in touch. Jaden and Dillon will play and enjoy the rest of their Spring Break…the boys have made note of the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Robbins will be visiting during the last week of school. Maybe they’ll be driving a van.

Thanks for coming along for the ride… Kiss your kids!

1 Comment

  1. March 18, 2010    

    Ahh- I love your family. I already miss you all so much, and am also looking forward to the last week of school!

    PS I didn’t realize the trampoline was quite so huge- I feel awed now. . .

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