It’s funny how all the big stuff hits at once. Actually, it’s not funny, it’s a bit tough, but you know what I mean.
I faced a difficult single mothering dilemma this week: both kids faced something serious at the same time … 11am on Monday morning.
I fretted over what to do for a few days before finally deciding I needed to be with the eldest.
And that’s how my 11-year-old went to a funeral without either of her parents (her dad has been overseas for work).
The youngest was completely unbothered by going to a funeral without me (even when her sister told her what the smoke stacks were for). It was just her mother who was distressed about not being there.
The funeral was for her favourite teacher’s husband. She’s had the teacher twice, she also taught the eldest for a year.
The teacher is an artist who came to her profession late in life at age 50: it was her first year out of college when she taught the eldest.
Her enthusiasm for her work and love for her students blew us all away. She cried at that first Christmas farewell party because she was going to miss her students so much.
That passion for her work is still just as strong and it’s had such a positive influence on the youngest. She and her two best friends – who were also lucky enough to have her twice – visit their old teacher regularly and always save one of their cupcakes for her when its their birthday.
They absolutely adore her.
She’s also remained close to the eldest. The day before she took leave to be with her sick husband, she was counselling the eldest, telling her how unfair it was that her high school were demanding she cut her hair.
When the youngest’s beloved teacher lost her husband, the 11-year-old decided she wanted to be at the funeral to give her a hug.
So the three best friends headed to the crematorium on Monday to pay their respects.
In the days before, the youngest prepared a card for her teacher to hand her at the service. Talk about a tear jerker.
One of my school mum besties took her to the funeral. Before she left, I reminded the youngest not to talk or giggle during the service. She rolled her eyes at me, as if I’d do that.
The youngest gave her teacher that hug and the card. She sat quietly through the service. She was calm and composed when I collected her from netball training later that afternoon. She said the service went well and she was glad she went.
I’m sorry t wasn’t there to support her or to pay my respects to her wonderful teacher at such a sad time. But I’m incredibly proud that my daughter has such a good heart.