Rarely a day goes by that I don’t forget something that one of my kids needs for school. Yup, I’m that parent. I’m the one who shows up and hopes that someone else can fill in the gaps that I missed. I’m so sorry. It isn’t who I want to be but it is who I am in this place and in this time, and I am grateful to be a part of a community that accepts this.
Today a kiddo forgot her lunch. So I resigned myself to driving across town for the sole purpose of bringing it to her. I have grown as a parent and I accept that small people make small mistakes, and that is okay. I consider it my job to be a place of safety for my children to make those mistakes and learn from them, and kids are remarkably built for learning.
I brought the forgotten lunch to school where I unobtrusively slipped it through a cracked classroom door, hoping not to disrupt the class. I ducked around the corner as I heard little feet thump across the floor to retrieve the lunchbox; the door opened slightly and I heard my child’s sweet voice ask “Where is mama?” I wanted so badly to go hold her and just love on her for a moment. Instead, I walked around the back of the classroom building to where I knew the window was opened and I listened to little voices as they unpacked their lunches. “Ants on a log!” one child said excitedly. Would my kids eat ants on a log if I put it in their lunches?
Being a mom of pea-sized bladder, I then, of course, needed to use a restroom. There are restrooms on campus that parents can use, but they’re halfway across the campus. It was a nice day for a walk. I passed the upper grades classroom and saw the 8th grade teacher setting up a chair outside to eat her lunch as she watched her students across the field.
After taking care of business I realized that my oldest child’s class was sitting nearby under a shade structure. Their teacher was getting ready to read to them from The Hobbit, which the class has been working through. I can’t tell you how excited I am that my kiddo is getting to listen to this, one of my all-time favorite stories, in her classroom. Furthermore, her teacher has a background in theater! So I settled in for the treat of listening, with the added treat of getting to witness my child in the wild, since she had no idea I was there.
It was such a lovely day. Sunny, under 70 degrees F, the musical sounds of children augmenting the music of birds and breeze. The whole school seemed to be having either lunch or recess, and I enjoyed hearing happy playing kids. I love my childrens’ school; it is so wholesome and child-centred, allowing the kids to just be kids. My own child was off to one side with a friend, no doubt messing around. Her teacher called her in to come sit and listen. Around her, her classmates were perched on fences or makeshift benches, or sitting in the sand. Many were finishing lunches as the teacher read. I listened; they were at the part where the dwarves are celebrating their victory over Smaug. Listening to my child’s wonderful teacher voice the book was enchanting, and I felt renewed gratitude that my child has a teacher who brings such a special blessing to my kid at this age.
The chapter finished. The teacher closed the book. I got up to return to my car and my day.
Unfortunately, I was wearing a bright red shirt and with the story over the kids sought a fresh distraction and found it in my exit. I walked away to the class yelling almost in unison (in the way children do) “Goodbye Rose’s Mooooommmmmmm!” I turned to wave and they all waved enthusiastically at me. How wonderful it is that my kiddo is at an age still where having her mom called out at school doesn’t make her expire of embarrassment; she was waving just as hard as the rest, and held up an “I love you” sign.
I love you too, kiddos. You bring sunshine into my life like nothing and nobody else.