4 and 3 and 2 jobs ago I worked as a school administrator. When I started out I was in my early 20s and my students were just about the same age. I also went from being a graduate student with a part time job as an administrator to an administrator who was a part time graduate student. It was a little weird. But my supervise told me a Latin phrase "In loco parentis", In place of parents. I had to come to terms with the fact that parents sent their kids to school and they expected someone to watch out for them.
I really didn't do that. I did not go to work and watch out for the kids. I did what I could to cover my ass. I made my boss look good when it worked for me. But for 20 years I did not act "in place of parents".
But then I stopped working it a school and started volunteering in my kids school a lot. A LOT. I chaperoned a lot of class trips and I helped out a recess on a regular basis. I truly internalized the phrase In loco parentis. For whatever reason, their parents were not on the trip, but I was. I help them up when they fell and wiped away their tears. I broke up fights and made them realize they were friends. I cleaned them up when they got bus sick and bought them lunch when they forgot theirs. They were not my kids but I was there and their parents were not. I don't know how far I would have gone for any of the kids I was chaperoning. I probably would have done whatever I would have done for my own child.
and then this happened.
Last Tuesday evening my son came back from Prospect Park and said there was a "crime scene" on Prospect Park West. I didn't give it much thought till after dinner when I saw this on the Park Slope Stoop
POSTED 5:56pm: At about 5:15pm on Tuesday, a young boy was hit by a car on Prospect Park West at 3rd Street. According to the FDNY, they received a call about a 12-year-old boy being struck by a car, but they say the child was transported by Hatzolah, so they could not provide info on the boy’s condition, though there are reports on Twitter about serious injuries. There are also reports that the NYPD crash investigators have been requested to the scene.So I went to bed knowing that my son was not making anything up.
In the morning I look at the update and it says this.
UPDATE 11:45pm: We are sorry to report that the NYPD has confirmed what a neighbor shared in the comments. The young boy passed away due to injuries sustained in the incident.
A website announcing Samuel’s — called Sammy — bar mitzvah notes that he was preparing to celebrate the big occasion in just over a month from now at Kolot Chayeinu here in Park Slope...................When I click on the word bar mitzvah I instantly see this.
I can't breath. Sammy was in and out of my kids' classes from kindergarten to 5th grade. They were never best friends but I would not have minded if they were. He was a good kid. A really good kid.
I specifically recalled watching him play soccer during recess. My daughter waked by and did not look his way. I remember thinking that it would be ok if she looked his way in a few years.
I woke up early the morning of the funeral. How could I go? I would be any use to anyone. I was already crying at 5:30 in the morning. I turned to Facebook.
He was in and out of my kids' classes from kindergarten to 5th Grade. I can't count how may class trips I chaperoned with him.
But, he was not my kid, or even my their best friend. I hardly knew his parents.
So if I am crying now, am I supposed to be strong later at the funeral?