I didn't know until half way through our first day back. Raelyn's appendix had burst during the break and she had spent a week in the hospital. It's a miracle she's alive. I can't explain what it feels like to almost lose a student. I have lost them to a move, to a divorce, and heart-wrenchingly to a foster home. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have not lost Raelyn. She spent a week in the hospital including Christmas Day. I asked if Santa found her in the hospital and she said he had. Thank goodness! She told me about how her parents took turns sleeping with her in the hospital bed and one night even both of them had stayed with her. The fear they must have felt, I can only imagine. You can see the toll this ordeal took on her little frame. She's only coming to school in the mornings this week. I miss her. We all miss her. Raelyn is a bright light in our classroom; sweet and demur, shy yet intentional. Yesterday she wrote about her hospital stay during Writers Workshop:
*Dpendix is so much cuter than appendix and I just love her picture of the bed going up and down!
Translation: I went to the hospital. I got my appendix out. I don't like the hospital. I pushed the buttons to make the bed go up and down. (later today she added, It was a little fun.)
When I talked to the class about what happened to Raelyn and how we would need to help her and look out for her for a while we talked about how the doctors helped save Raelyn. I told them that those brilliant doctors were once six year old first graders learning to read and write, that some of them had even struggled with math and gone to the principal just like them. But because they had worked hard and stayed in school, they became great, life-saving heroes. I asked my little charges if they thought they could grow up to be a hero someday. Every single hand went up. Here's to hoping!