As another school year comes to an end, this one is leaving a bittersweet taste. Beginning in September I will have a 2nd grader, a 5th grader, along with an almost 23-year-old adult daughter. That’s another story, at a different time. At the beginning of this school year, my six year old daughter was a ball of anxiety, clinging to me for dear life with alligator tears in her eyes almost on a daily basis. You see, last year when we enrolled her in kindergarten, little did we know that she wouldn’t be able to finish the school year in the traditional classroom where she started, but rather at home with Mom as the teacher. All I have to say is, thank goodness it was only kindergarten curriculum; it was a breeze! I had sight words plastered around my house for months; we did work sheets, math homework, science and Michigan geography. I also had a great network of family helping with her education as well. My job sometimes takes me away from home and to have the help of these other hands and hearts was appreciated beyond a thank you.
Needless to say, come August when it was time for my daughter to be tested to see if she needed to repeat kindergarten or was ready to be placed into 1st grade, we were beyond thrilled that she was far above expectations for her age! A little pat on the back is always nice to receive when hard work pays off! So, flash forward, we changed schools and she started the 1st grade. As I said , she had some apprehension about how this year was going to go, and fear of “what if it’s like last year”. It’s not an easy task to calm the anxiety of a six year old. I bought books, I read blogs, I spoke with a child psychologist, friends, etc. I will say the stand out person in this tough situation was her teacher. The woman was sent from heaven directly to care for my sweet child while she was in school. She accepted my daughter and all her worries as a gift, not a burden, ever. She helped her gain confidence with every day that passed. I was in direct contact with her teacher on a daily basis by email, and she never seemed bothered by me and my sometimes neurotic mothering of my baby. She just continued to be there for her. When music class was too much for my daughter to handle, the teacher gave her a stress ball to take into class with her and told her every time she got nervous to give it a good squeeze! The first time my daughter came home on a Wednesday (music day) and told me, beaming from ear to ear, she didn’t have to take the stress apple in with her, was a monumental moment. However, it didn’t compare to the morning we were driving to school this spring and she asked me to drop her off in the drop off line. I had to control my own emotions from taking over and sobbing like a baby because it was one of the proudest moments I’m pretty sure I’ve had since her birth! I pulled up, gave her a kiss and she jumped out of the car and ran to the playground. Sniff… still makes me cry.
Flash forward again to this morning, the day before the last day of school. We pulled into the drop off line, she said, “I see my friends on the playground”. She leaned forward, gave me a quick kiss goodbye, said, “Bye, ma” and jumped out of the car. As I sat there watching her run to the playground, tears streaming down my face, I realized at that moment, she’s going to be just fine in life.
It is true, there is always that one teacher that will change a child’s life, and ours was Mrs. Stone, 1st grade. Thank you will never be enough. Have a great summer, everyone, and enjoy your children while they’re home. They will be gone before you know it. And I know this, again, I have an almost 23-year -old daughter and I remember vividly her first day of kindergarten sitting on the steps waiting for the bell to ring.
I’ve never really written a bio about myself. If it’s anything like creating a resume, don’t hold it against me! First and foremost, I’m a Mom, a 40 something year old mom. I have three, amazing kids; each one is by far way different from the next one! My oldest daughter is 22, my son is 10 and my youngest daughter is 6 (almost 7). I work full time as a traveling sales person. Think Dell Griffin selling shower curtain rings meets imprinted bags. Go ahead laugh, but it’s the truth, I cover three states: MI, IN and northern Ohio. None of them are exciting destinations, I can assure you of that. I am also a wife, (and an ex-wife). I was married the first time very young and divorced before the ink was dry. I was a single mom for 12 years. My oldest daughter and I were, in our minds, the original Gilmore Girls. Life was amazing as a single mom; I actually loved every second of it. I had no intention of getting married again, like ever. And then, I fell in love, hard, crashing love with my husband (current). We have been blissfully, wink wink, married for 10 years this past February. I love talking about my kids, I love to read, I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to drink, smoke, and curse like a sailor in the right company. In front of others, I may seem a little quiet or reserved until you get to know me. This is my first blog, and I’m thankful for Robyn’s platform and the fact she’s putting it out here for anyone that wants to read it. I hope you enjoy it.