Today we had a scare at the boys’ school. (I will start off by saying all the children in their school are fine)
I was home folding laundry when I heard the town fire alarms going off. After a few minutes I began to think I was hearing things. I opened the front door and sure enough they were still going off, for what felt like at least a full ten minutes or so.
I came back inside and popped on Facebook for a minute, and that was when I saw a post from a fellow mom asking what was going on at their school. Then a few more posted asking the same. Of course I could feel my heartbeat faster, as I was starting to worry. Within about 10 minutes of that post, the local police posted that their entire school was evacuated to another school up the hill due to a strange odor.
Very quickly my mind wandered to my kids, but I admit I was much more worried about the Michael at that moment. How would he handle it? Did he melt down? Did he understand what was happening? My mind was racing…so very worried. I fully expected a meltdown of gigantic proportions when he arrived home.
They were late getting off the bus. That would be another trigger for a melt down. I started to cringe when I saw him emerge from the bus first. He had a half smile and walked over to me. I gave him a big hug and said hi. He told me he didn’t have his backpack. I told him it was ok and he would get it back Monday. He seemed fine. Quite the opposite of what I expected. Whew..sigh of relief.
David got off next, with a face I am very familiar with. His, something is wrong but I don’t want to talk about it face. I gave him a hug and asked if he was ok. He said yes. We got into the van and again I could see in his face the emotions starting to surface. I asked a different question this time. I asked if he was scared about what happened. Choking back tears he told me yes.
Now I was the one choking back the tears and guilt.
I was so worried about how Michael would handle what happened, that I really never stopped to think how David would handle it. I felt guilty for worrying so much about Michael, who was blissfully unaware as to why they had to leave school so suddenly. His only concern was his backpack.
I felt guilty because David was the one who understood that people got sick from the smell, and that scared him. He understood that it was an emergency that caused them to have to leave suddenly, and that scared him. They had to walk in the rain to the other school, that upset him. He had to console Michael about the fact that they had to leave their backpacks in school, while they waited to come home. That is a lot of pressure for a little boy.
It made me painfully aware that sometimes I expect so much more from David, even though he is less than 2 years older than Michael. That causes me extreme guilt. I have to remind myself that sometimes things can be harder for him, simply because he does understand more.