This morning I read Jen Hatmaker's blog post that can be found here, and after I laughed hysterically I found myself nodding my head --- then shaking my head --- then nodding and realizing I needed to get out all of my thoughts muy pronto. So I headed straight to the computer whilst ignoring all my other tasks. Because that's what writers do. (Excuse for the day, you're welcome to use that if you'd like ... no charge. You're welcome.)
So what kind of school mom am I? I know what I'm NOT for sure ...
I am not:
- a PTO/PTA mom (I accidentally typed POT mom - I'm not one of those either, just for the record)
- a Room Mom
- a "volunteer at the school every week" mom
- a "come volunteer at this event where we let the kids run around like crazy!" mom
- a helicopter mom who needs to know every line by line detail of what my child is learning and why
- a "be best friends with the teacher" mom (this includes feeling the need to friend your child's teacher on Facebook)
- a "buy a new school t-shirt each year, and year book, and pins, and hats, and school store crap, and on and on and on" mom
- "get to know the principal right away" mom
- "go protest the crazy carpool line issues" mom
- "check homework with a red pen" mom
I think I have pretty well concluded that I am:
- a "what were the high points and low points of your day, today?" kind of mom
- a "did you have enough to eat today? too much? too little?" ensuring we aren't wasting food (money) in our lunches kind of mom
- a "pick one thing you REALLY want me to be at this school year and I'll volunteer for it!" kind of mom
- a "listen to praise and worship to keep my blood pressure down and make sure I smile a lot while in carpool" kind of mom
- the Encyclopedia Brown of picking out Kindergarten parents kind of mom - they automatically get LOTS of grace from me!
- a "does that REALLY cool school shirt still fit you? AWESOME!" kind of mom
- a "meet the principal and have a sit down conversation only if my child is involved in some sort of debacle that requires such a sit down meeting --- he and I are both very busy, why waste each other's time if it's not necessary?" kind of mom
- a "you're responsible for answering to your teachers if you don't get your homework done - so I'll ask you one time today, do you have any homework that you need to get done?" kind of mom
- a "let's snuggle and read this awesome chapter book and/or Action Bible together!" kind of mom
It's the end of the school year. Everyone is excited. Probably no one is more excited than the teachers at this point. I mean really --- think about this. For EVERY single morning battle you've had with your children, you get to drop them off at the curb with a cute little 4th or 5th grade Safety Patrol student smiling brightly with his neon colored vest. You say, "have a good day, I love you!" and boom... you're on your way. Oh and PS: the teachers get to pick up the pieces of our children who arrive with one shoe and wearing pajama pants because they refused to get dressed that morning. I have no doubt the teacher sees your kid walk in with a side pony tail that is remnant of yesterday's hair do, spies the pajama pants and says, "SERIOUSLY?!?!"
I saw my son's teacher last week and when I asked her if she was ready for summer, she looked over her shoulder as though she were about to make a break for her car and get out of there! She said in her very poised and politically correct manner, "the end of year can be quite challenging with all these kids who are ready to be out of school. Behavior can be quite an issue." Tell me about it. This is why I cannot homeschool!
For the record, I have no idea when the last time was that I looked in my son's backpack. I don't even want to know what kind of "treasures" are growing mold or mildew in there. I have not kept up with the 276 events that are each preceded with an email to parents requesting our presence to celebrate this, that, and those. I missed teacher appreciation week. I'm always the last car in the carpool line (I know my kid will be just fine sitting amongst friends while I leave the house at 3:05 to miss most of the carpool traffic). The principal knows my name and face BECAUSE I am always the last car in the carpool line. I didn't make a single set of copies at the school this year. I didn't attend a single class party for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's or whatever else there has been. We didn't go to Open House.
And you know what? My kiddo REALLY isn't all that upset about it. When he requests my presence I do try very hard to be there. However, I am running a business (well not at the moment - I'm still using the writing excuse), I do contract work for our church, I have a volunteer leadership position at church, I'm taking a theology/book study course, I'm the maid, and the grocery shopper and the bill payer and the "call a repairman for this or that" person, I do the laundry, and I check Facebook. This all takes a LOT of time. If I were to homeschool, I would NOT be doing a ton of those things! More power to the home school parents. I'm pretty sure I would end up in prison for harming my child if I tried to teach him on a daily basis.
All this to say - I'm ok with being this kind of parent. I really am. There are Pinterest Moms and there are gift card moms. I am most definitely belong in the latter of the two categories. I mean really, what do teachers DO with all those buckets and jars and flower pens and apple shaped whatevers? I'm a fan of picking up several fun gift cards and letting the teachers do the shopping!
This year, William's teacher will get gift cards for a car wash, a smoothie, a kick butt burrito, and Lowes because I know she plans to work on her house this summer. Excessive? Maybe ... but she has been AMAZING with our kid this year, and because I flaked on just about everything else - I plan to write her a nice handwritten note stating our gratitude and appreciation! (the coupon holders were $1 at Target - I just covered them with scrapbook paper)
So what kind of school parent are you?