|Diddles with two of her teachers: Miss Kaylen and Miss Jennifer|
Diddles has a bus available to ride as part of her IEP. They pick her up at our home, but she started becoming really anxious to get on the bus, and I decided it was easier to alleviate some of that nervousness by driving her to school and picking her up myself. It's not like we live far away, or that I have babies napping! After school, the kids are sitting in circle waiting for their parents or the bus, listening to a story. Every day when I walk in, several children loudly announce, "Diddles! Your mom's here!" She turns her wavy head and leaps from her seat, and runs to greet me with a smile. It's always a great feeling!
Yesterday as the parents were coming in and finding their seats for the program, there was a little girl in tears because her mom wasn't there. I felt so bad. Her mom was likely at work, or maybe taking a final at school, or didn't know enough English to know that this little celebration would mean a great deal to her daughter to attend. No judgement. Each person has their own circumstances, and I am sure she wanted to be there.
Diddles noticed her classmate crying and asked me why. I told her her mom wasn't able to come and it made her sad. She said, "I could share my mom with you!" (sweet) That didn't quite please the classmate, but I thought it was a great idea, and I made sure to cheer extra loud for her and all the other children who didn't have a parent present. I gathered them all at my table in snack and we had a grand time sharing oatmeal cookies and apple juice.
|Diddles could name every person in this picture. She proudly said, "I have a lot of fwends."|
As a child, my mom was always home. Always. I have very few childhood memories without my mom squarely in the center of them. She was the first person I saw coming in the door from school EVERY day. She greeted me with a cheerful hello after happy days and hard days. Days when I brought home another C on a math test, even after studying for hours and hours on the material. She would give me a squeeze and assure me that I tried my best, and that was all that mattered. The day I came home after learning that I wasn't even cast in the middle school play, when I was SURE I had secured the lead. I burst into tears delivering the news, and she cried right along with me. She rescued me countless times delivering clean pants after a fall in the mud, forgotten assignments, bulky, ambitious projects, and my personal favorite: "Oh, mom...we're having a party for Mrs. Isler - can you make a sheet cake for our whole class tomorrow?" I can still remember her breezing in with that enormous Jell-O whipped cream cake for my 3rd grade class, and I felt so proud that that was MY amazing mom! The class went bananas, and I was so grateful to my mom for doing that for me. Nevermind the fact that she had four other little kids at home - what an enormous inconvenience those requests must have been! I feel terrible about the numerous things I asked her to do! As a mother to my own kids, I always try to be supportive like my mom when my kids bring home volunteer sign-up sheets for things, or a teacher needs a helper, or they have an ambitious project idea. The monthly Art Docent has been a lot of fun. I got to work in Boo's class this past week, and I overheard one of the boys say to his friend, "I love it when Boo's Mom comes to do art!" I love being able to support my kids in those things, because I remember how much it meant to me as a child.
This morning as I was packing lunches, reviewing spelling words and double-checking that breakfast had been eaten and teeth had been brushed, I had such gratitude in my heart for being able to be home with my kids these past 10 years. It's been a sacrifice in some ways, for sure, and I've made a bunch of mistakes and lost my temper, and felt overwhelmed. But mostly, I've felt it's just been a HUGE blessing to be there for all of those big and little things. I'm so grateful for Josh who has worked SO hard to honor my wish when we were dating that I would be able to stay at home with my kids when they were little. I'm so grateful to be their mother and fill that sacred role of nurturing my children. No matter what, my kids can know - "Your mom's here."