I am emailing because I find it's easier (for a lot of reasons)...I hope this is ok. This is very personal information, but I want to convey it so that maybe I can do the responsible parent thing and keep Samuel from falling through the cracks that threaten to swallow me up personally.
First, a little background. Generally, I would just vaguely allude to a "family emergency." But in this case, I think the details may be somewhat important. In May of 2005, just a couple weeks before Sam's third birthday, his brother was stillborn at 35 weeks. In May of 2006, just a couple weeks before Sam's fourth birthday, another brother was stillborn at 20 weeks. Just this past week/end, I lost another much-anticipated pregnancy at 19 weeks (Sam's birthday is more than a month away this time...thank goodness). Samuel and his two-year-old brother spent four days, while I was in the hospital, with their grandparents. We only just returned home Sunday night and spent Monday together as a way to reassure them that everything was ok. Sam tells me he is ready to go back to school (though I must confess to a small Toys R Us bribe in order to get him to agree), so we are sending him to school today (Tuesday). He may be ready...he may not...I simply can not tell.
Sam has dealt with a lot of loss in his short life and, as a result, he is wiser than a lot of people five times his age. But still...I know from our experiences that this initial grief period can be rough on everyone in the family. I would like to ask you to please keep an eye on him and let us know if there is any significant backsliding in his academic performance or his behavior during class. He has worked very hard during this school year to get himself under control and be a "good citizen." As you would expect, he doesn't always know an appropriate way to express his grief and he may need a little extra attention or guidance to stay on track. Please watch out for my little guy while he is there at school. I would hate very much if all of this family stress were to go unaddressed and silently undermine all of his hard work.
I am only a phone call and ten minute drive away at any time during the school day. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. And of course, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much, Mrs. G. I appreciate everything you have already done for Samuel this year already. I hate to ask for special attention, but we have learned to hope for the best while anticipating the worst. I am hoping for the best here...but I still worry.
Yeah, I'm oversharing and hoping it doesn't result in any backlash against my kid.
Who knows what the right thing is to do in these situations? Unfortunately, the experts don't write books about this stuff. Maybe I will write that book. Though not an expert, I clearly have insight that most people don't. This crap has gotta be worth something.