My School Room Days…and SIDS

Let me tell you a little story about my desk.


I grew up the youngest of five kids.  I am the youngest, my sister the oldest.  We have three brothers sandwiched in between.  My sister is 16 years older than me so I became an aunt at the young age of four.  In the early 70’s my sister’s husband was sent to Thailand as part of his duty as a soldier with the Air Force.  Before he left, my parents helped my sister move a trailer house onto my parents farm.  My sister and her kids lived there while her husband was in the service and for a few years following his safe arrival home.

My mom loved grandchildren…she loved children in general.  She wanted us to be busy so she set up a “school room” for me and the grandchildren in one of the bedrooms upstairs.  She bought desks at an auction.  She bought a chalk board at a garage sale and would constantly purchase old school books at thrift stores.  Before long she had provided us with a full fledged school room.  There was even a flag, copy of the Declaration of Independence, library, bulletin boards, globe, and teacher desk.

I was a teacher…. my nieces and nephews were the students.  We played school all the time….and I loved it.  I helped them learn to read, do math, learn their states and capitols.  We all had fun.

I loved being their aunt even more than I loved being the teacher.  They stayed overnight regularly….I remember long talks into the night when we were suppose to be sleeping.  I remember long walks to the creek in the back of the farm. Playing school was always our favorite.

My siblings continued having kids and I continued playing school with them until I went off to college.

Sometimes, I really miss those days.  I could do no wrong in my niece’s and nephew’s eyes.  I could fix problems…I could make things all better.

Most of my nieces and nephews are all grown up now.  Unfortunately, now they have bigger problems and bigger complications than they did back in the school room days.  I wish I could still fix their problems and ease their sorrows like I did in the “school room days”  but I can’t.

Just before Thanksgiving, my niece’s little one year old died unexpectedly in the night.  Isn’t she a cutie?

It’s sad…so sad.

This isn’t the first time a sudden infant death has struck my extended family.  Three years ago, my nephew lost his three month old baby boy Max to SIDS.  It is incredibly sad.  SIDS completely changes a family.

Please take time to review the precautions of SIDS.  Please share the precautions with anyone who has a little one.

Put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
Be sure your baby is placed to sleep on his or her back when in the care of others.
Don’t smoke.
Select bedding carefully.
Place your baby to sleep in a crib or bassinet — not in your bed.
Keep your baby nearby.
Consider breast-feeding.
Offer a pacifier.
Moderate room temperature.

For the most part…I love being an adult.  I don’t mind the responsibilities that come with it.  I don’t mind being the mom and working…but….there is one thing I hate about it though….
the inability to fix everything…. some things are just unable to be fixed no matter how hard we want to.

…and so, this is one of those days I wish I was back in that school room with that old desk, playing teacher and able to fix all the troubles my nieces and nephews had.

My heart goes out to Josiah and Betsy, Jamie and Jason and everyone else who has suffered a loss that can not be fixed.

6 thoughts on “My School Room Days…and SIDS”

  1. I’m sure we would all love to be back in ‘your’ class room and have our troubles easily fixed…if only it were that simple…..still some of life’s biggest hurdles are the ones we learn the most rewarding lesson’s.

  2. Jo This is wonderful I think that’s what they mean when they say the good old days. Everyday I think of how blessed we are. Do you think she has a schoolroom all set up? Or little chairs in the goat house? Maybe a swing in the barn. My girls have so many wonderful memories.

  3. Jo,
    I am so sorry to hear of the extreme sadness your family is dealing with – I just can’t imagine. What a beautiful smile.
    Prayers to all during this difficult time.


  4. I am the middle of five, but the oldest girl, also with three brothers. We are all really close in age though. Our mom’s youngest brother is the same age as her oldest son–so we played with our uncles! Being a mom always means walking the line between fixing everything and letting decision making skills build. But the death of a baby, so heartbreaking, no one can prepare for that. Sympathies to your family for these terrible losses. Thank you for passing along the SIDS hints as well.

  5. Hugs and prayers to you and your family in this very sad time…. I can’t imagine the hurt you must all be feeling……


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