Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy-friends!

And, if you are NOT a mommy, and are blessed enough to have YOUR mother still living, close this browser right now, and either go find her or call her and wish her a happy mother's day and thank her for not only giving you life, but putting up with you and feeding and clothing you and taking care of you when you were sick... And anything else you can think of to throw into the mix.

Ok. Done that? Good - welcome back. I was greeted this morning at 6am (note to self, try to teach the boys the joy of sleeping in...) by Matthew, who rose quietly, went downstairs not-so-quietly, and returned with a cacophony of sounds as he brought me his Mother's Day gift. In wrapping he made himself, adorned with a card he made himself, I found a lovely, construction-paper-and-ribbon creation of poems, drawings, and writings. Gotta love elementary school teachers for making sure Mom gets something, because if left to most dads, mom would go away empty handed!

Of course, I loved each and every hand-made page. His handwriting surprises me because it is SO good... much better than his 3rd grade brother's! But what meant the most to me was this: Inside the book, secured in an envelope, was a note from his teacher thanking me for raising such a wonderful boy. It filled both sides of the card - and while I have known from nearly day one how much his teacher loves him, it was so amazing to read this card, with its glowing compliments about how he is a role model of respect and courtesy in the classroom. (I'm thinking my child? Really? The same kid whose antics prompted a call from the Principal for trying to make the toilet overflow? Respect? Ok - I'll take it!!)

In fact, it this simple act meant so much to me that 1) I am going to write her a note in return (truly, I could not have hand=picked a better match for Matthew) and 2)it is something I am going to find a way to do in my own classroom. Because while my students may drive me crazy, I also get to see what makes them wonderful. Sometimes it takes a lot of reminding myself that the wonderful is in there, because they do a good job of trying to hide it, but it is there. Just like the lesson from To Kill a Mockingbird, most folks are really pretty decent once you take a moment to really see them.

I am beyond delighted that Matthew's teacher really "gets" him. I can only hope that next year brings someone even close to Mrs. Jackson. Knowing he is understood, and loved, each and every day at school is the best gift a Mother can get (from someone who is not her own kid!!)

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