I just dropped you off for school for the last time today. I didn’t want you to shut the door. I knew that I would never get the chance to look in the backseat and tell you to have a good day again.
Each morning for the past year I would drive you and Josh to school. It was just like Groundhog Day. I would ask the both of you what you had going on after school. I would complain about the long line of cars dropping of the kids. I would comment on the weather. Neither of you said much. I’m not sure that either of you were awake and probably just wanted me to shut up. You both were lazy and wouldn’t get out of the car until we were right at the front of the drop-off spot. Josh would get out first, you would be the last and would say “See you Natalie”. You took your time getting out but never forgot to add a “thank you” before you shut the door.
Today was the same routine, I looked back at you for the last time and your bag got caught on the seat-belt, you looked me in the eyes and we laughed. I quickly thanked God for your struggle getting out of the car. I got to share one more laugh with just you.
I have learned a lot from you this year. I want you to know how special you are and how thankful I am that I got to share nearly a year of my life with you.
Don’t be Afraid to Try New Things….
You are a brave boy Sergio. You traveled half way across the world to a foreign country. You moved away from everyone you have ever known for the entire school year. You moved in with a family you didn’t really know to a school where you knew no one. You did this at a young age of fifteen. You have taught me to never be afraid of the unknown. You taught me to be courageous.
Treat Every Day Like it is Special….
When you first arrived, everything was a new experience. We talked through how we did things here and you explained how you did it differently in Spain. Each day was exciting. We planned things every month and were living life to the fullest. You brought an energy to our house that I feared losing once you were gone. Then out of nowhere the cold winter months took a toll on us like it does every year. With Ben being away at school and most of the responsibility of keeping up with the house on me, we stopped planning special things to do and the four of us retreated to alone time. We lost the excitement we had when you first arrived. We took you for granted. The reality of you leaving hit me last month. I started to appreciate the little things I did for you each day again. I’m going to miss spreading Nutella on your pancakes each morning buddy. You have taught me to appreciate the little things, people may only be with you for a short time. Cherish each day with them.
Walk, Don’t Run, unless your being chased….
You are a soccer player. A soccer player that doesn’t like to run. I was surprised when you told me you hated running. You have control over the soccer ball unlike anyone I have ever seen. Your style of playing soccer is much different that it is here in America. The coaches were always yelling “Run Sergio”. You ignored them and literally just stood and waited in your position. When I asked you why you didn’t run, you told me that you were saving your energy for when you got the ball. After you told me that, I got to thinking I need to treat life a little more like that. Stop running around like a crazy person trying to get things done. Save my energy for things that really count.
Look Good Feel Good….
You always look put together. You take more time doing your hair than I do. You walk around with confidence because of it. There was only a handful of days you didn’t get ready. On those days you would lie round in your pajamas, you didn’t seem yourself. Once you would get a shower, get dressed and do your hair you would come alive again. There are days I want to stay in my pajamas all day too, but it does change your mood when you put a little effort into yourself. Thanks for reminding me the importance of taking care of myself.
Always Laugh, Especially at Yourself….
I have never laughed so much in my life, especially when you first arrived. We laughed about the stupidest things. I would just sit in the kitchen and listen to you and Josh laugh and laugh in your room. This was a hard year for me with Ben living away from us. You lightened the mood for me most days Sergio.
Don’t Forget to Say Thank You….
I know that my kids will say thank you more because of you. You thanked me for each and everything I did for you. You thanked me for your pancakes, for your milk, for washing your clothes, dropping you off at school. You never once forgot to thank me. My kids don’t say it enough. There was one day you weren’t in the car when I dropped Josh off at school. Since you weren’t there, the thank you was missing. But, before Josh shut the door, he let out a “thank you”. The words are etched in his head now and when you aren’t there to say them, he will. So, thank YOU Sergio for teaching my kids to be grateful.
Make Food Together….
You taught me how to make chicken like your Mom does. We will forever call it “Sergio Chicken”. You taught me how to make a Spanish potato omelet. It was a lot of trial and error, but I think we finally got it right. I will always make this and be reminded of the fun that the two of us had making it together. We made homemade birthday cakes for Ben and each member of your family. Even though they were not here to enjoy it with you, they knew you took the time to make it especially for them.
Love Them Like Your Own….
You taught me that you don’t have to be related by blood to love a child. Someone asked you how I was as a housemother and you replied, “She’s not like a mother, she’s more like a friend’. Your right. You became my friend, one of my very close friends. Ben left for school the week after you arrived. You will leave the week after he returns. You helped me fill the void. God gave me you for this short time to be with me and the boys while Ben was away.
I’ll miss you buddy. The house will not be as full without you here. I have been working on a book for you. I’m not even close to being finished. I will continue to work on it after you leave. I want you to have a document of “Your Year with the Glaser’s” and it will also give me more time to spend with you. Monday you will leave our house, our town and our country but you will always be in our hearts.
I love you buddy,
Natalie – Your Crazy House Mother