Last Day of Preschool (This Year)

Today is Bennett’s last day of preschool…I seriously cannot believe this year is over for him! (read: what in the world am I going to do with this kid for the next three months?)

I went back and read my post from his first day of school, and it made me really glad that I have this blog, because I did not remember the details. He looks like he’s grown so much since the first day of school. I’m so happy to report that there was only one incident this year!

This has been a difficult year, though, regarding something I haven’t mentioned on the blog. When I got Bennett’s teacher assignment late last summer, my heart sank. He was getting one of Luke’s former teachers, which was great, but his other teacher, who was a very sweet woman, was entering her third year with ovarian cancer. I was so nervous about him dealing with that so soon after the loss of my mom that the thought crossed my mind to change him to a different class. But I decided against it, and the year started off well. When his teacher had to be out of class due to not feeling well, they had the same sub nearly all the time. They never told the kids what was wrong with her, but honestly, I think he knew all along.

Right after spring break, we received notice that his teacher was going to be taking the rest of the year off to “focus on her health.” (I told Bennett at that time that she had cancer, like Nana did, but that she was trying to get better.) I knew she was worn out, but she was always so bubbly around the kids, and she seemed to have lots of energy when she was at school. So you can imagine my shock when I got a call from the preschool director about 3 weeks ago, telling me that she had passed away. She had decided to quit her chemo treatments, which she’d taken nonstop for 3 years, and thankfully, she did not suffer for long.

But still, I had to have a very difficult conversation with Bennett. They weren’t going to discuss it at school, but there was no way that I could not tell him, as I feared that other kids at school would say something. So I sat him down to tell him, and immediately, he smiled and said, “That’s good! She’s in heaven now with Nana.” I was so surprised that it took me a second to respond, and I told him he was right, and that was that. He’s remembered to pray for his teacher’s family nearly every night since she passed away.

So, despite the fact that I hate how fast this baby of mine is growing up, I’m going to be glad to have this year behind us. Bring on summer.

13 responses to “Last Day of Preschool (This Year)

  1. Oh my gosh – I had no clue that happened. Bennett sure did show his maturity.

  2. Nicole, I too was so saddened when I found out this news. Lauren had Mrs. N. last year as a teacher and Megan was scheduled to have her next year. What a great lady! I immediately thought of you when I heard the news. I’m thankful Bennet did so well with the news. It is so neat that kids have a way of speaking Truth into our lives that we need to be reminded of!

  3. I think you were wise to tell Bennett about his teacher’s passing. When I was a school counselor, I always advised parents to not shy away from the tough conversations. Those are the best opportunities to teach and connect with your kids.

    We had a much loved teacher’s aide pass away suddenly my last year of working (pre-SAHM). It was quite difficult…we contacted parents first to let them know and also to inform them that we would be acknowledging her death in the classrooms the next day. Overall, the parents appreciated the way we handled it…allowing parents the first opportunity to tell their kids, then not treating her death as a taboo subject at school but publically honoring her life and commitment to teaching.

    While it’s grevious that he’s had to learn through experience, I’m glad that Bennett took it so well and seems to have a mature understanding of death. Good job, mom.

  4. I’m sad too. We have Ryder’s little preschool graduation tonight. I thing that was good to tell Bennett what happened. Big Boy.

  5. Bennett IS and HAS such a sweet heart. He never ceases to amaze me how his quirky behavior issues can wreak havoc one minute and then his incredible-for-his-age compassion can blow you away the next.

  6. It tugs at my heart that he is remembering to pray for her family. 🙂 He’s a very special boy, that Bennett.

  7. what a sweetie he is! and way to be brave, nicole!

  8. it is so nice to be reminded of strong, resilient and (sometimes) wise children can be.

  9. why am i crying? i didn’t even know Bennett’s teacher! I don’t want to have to deal with crap like this when Adali gets older…can I just send her to your house for the tough conversations please?

  10. Nicole – one, I am AMAZED at Bennett’s response. What a sweet sweet boy and two, the response he gave was because he has YOU for his mother. Great job Nicole.

  11. That is so sweet. I’m so sad for her family. Enjoy the summer – it is so SHORT!!!

    My hubby is in STL for business this week and lastnight saw the Cards and Cubs duke it out from great third baseline seats! I thought of you and how fun it would be for our families to go to that game as “rivals” and friends.

    😦 for the Cubbies.

  12. Bennett’s response reflects the wonderful way in which you and Matt are bring up your boys. God is blessing you in so many ways.

  13. Wow Nicole. I just hate those kinds of conversations. Mostly because right before, when I am thinking about what I will say to Cooper, there’s that moment where I realize a part of his innocence is being replaced with a knowledge that bears responsibility. You know? Does that make sense? It’s not that the knowledge is bad, it just means they are growing up. You did a great job telling him and his heart was so sweet in response. Hope your heart is ok too.

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