I think about things to write all the time, but finding the time to actually sit down and write them is the hard part. Mike was on vacation all last week, so you would have thought that I would have written at least once. Instead, we spent most of our evenings watching movies (horror for Halloween). I didn't have much other free time since Natalie did a lot of her napping the car since her naps have been off our old schedule for a bit. The free time I did get, I was working on plowing through the like 8 million books I had checked out of the library (I decided to abandon two, and finished three, and I'm almost done with a fourth).
Natalie is napping right now. I thought I heard her waking up earlier, but was writing an email. Then, when I was ready to go get her, she was quite again. I'm disliking this change in her napping. She has been skipping the first nap, then falling asleep when we go out in the car around 10. It just so happens that both play group and story time necessitate us leaving around that time. So, if she wants to move her nap to then, then we are back to having no activities to get us out of the house and no ways for her to see other kids (and me to see other moms). Today, she went down around 830, and she is still asleep. This is more like our old schedule. I was disliking waking her up to go into activities since I knew she was tried.
Big news around here is that we've made a big step in weaning. After dragging my feet a bit worrying that Natalie would be upset, on Friday we skipped the morning nursing for the first time. Mike got Natalie up and gave her oatmeal right after her diaper. He then did it on Saturday at my parents' house. Sunday, I got up with them and I fed her the oatmeal. This morning, Mike did her diaper before work as usual, and I fed her the oatmeal. Her diaper had leaked, so we had to change her clothes. I was a little worried she was going to run over to the bed to nurse, but when I picked her up and said we were going to have oatmeal, she clapped her hands. So, technically, I could now go away over night, though that is unlikely to happen any time soon. But, I could sleep in. That is, if I could manage to not wake up when I hear her over the monitor or fall back to sleep instead of listening to her and Mike play. How does Mike do this?
Now that those big updates are taken care of, the real reason I'm writing today is because a former student of mine, Madison Daigle, passed away this weekend. Like when Danielle Wood died earlier this year, I heard about it through former students on FB. A girl in my former HPT used just his first name, and I wrote back hoping that it was a different Madison. I was lucky to have Madison twice. I only taught advanced sophomores once and only one small section, and Madison was in that class. Even though both times I had him in class he was in a small section, I never knew Madison extremely well. Unlike Danielle Wood who had a very powerful personality and stayed after school a lot, Madison was pretty a pretty quite student and was dependable with his work. He is one of the students that I remember strongly liking because he was a "good kid," which means dependable, well mannered, smart, loved his sport, and fun and silly at times. Come to think of it, he wasn't all that different from Mike in school, except for being more popular and outgoing. He was the type of student that you hope your own children will be. He didn't love English or obsess over grades like some kids, but he respected school enough to put in an honest effort. I hadn't seen him for over a year and most of his personality has blurred into the 50 or so teen boys who were kind of like him that I met over my five years of teaching. I remember talking about the books he was reading, but I can't remember any titles right now, which makes me sad, since I remember him having some good stuff going on with his reading.
As sad as it is, hearing that certain students died would be less surprising than others. All teachers know that kids have many other things going on at home, and lots of kids where those things on their sheleves. It would be less shocking (though not less sad) to hear of a drug user surcoming to an over dose, or a kid runner with a rough crowd getting hurt, or a sick student losing the fight to her illness. There are even kids who fall in the cliches of the media, who are drinking and driving after big parties or texting while driving. Madison was not the type of student you would ever imagine would die young. The short news report I read did say that he was probably speeding and was not wearing a seat belt. As an adult, I shake my head and think how sad, but didn't my friends do these things when I as a teen? Weren't there a few times I was a passenger in a speeding car or not wearing a seat belt for a time for some reason or another?
Madison's death really brought out in my the feeling of protecting your child. I wanted to hold Natalie as the news sunk in, just to feel her life. I half jokingly said as I put her to bed that she can't drive until she is 30. Life is so fragile, and I want to protect her's as much as I can. Every day we do so many things that are dangerous, particularly driving in the car. All day long, her life is in my hands. As she gets older, it is going to be scary how I have to allow her freedom and let her go off into our dangerous world. This is totally different than how I felt at the death of Danielle. She had a daughter somewhat close to Natalie's age, and I was left feeling so sad for that little girl growing up without her mother, for the immediacy of her missing her mother and not understanding why she is suddenly gone.