Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What a Parent Won't Do...

Once in awhile, I think about my mom and I remember a story. More often than not, my first thought is of my mom's crazy antics (see this story, this story, and this story). Then, sometimes, I remember days of elementary school and bonding with my mother.

At age 7, I was in first grade. Being a fall baby, I was always a little older than most of my grade and the extra few months made school easier for me. Since I didn't struggle as some of the other students did, my mom never had a problem with me missing a day or two of school. I remember sitting in class one day, watching a movie about dinosaurs on those old movie projectors (oh, what an honor it was to be the one who got to push the rewind button!) when there was a knock at the door.

Much to my surprise, my mom stood there! She spoke to the teacher for a moment and then I was motioned over to them. I was a little afraid, trying to figure out why my mom was now inside my round school*. The teacher told me that my mom was there to take me to a doctor's appointment.

My heart sank. I didn't remember a doctor's appointment on the schedule, but then hey, I was 7 years old. I didn't know why I had to go to the doctor and now I was a little worried. I kept pulling on my mom's shirt, asking her to tell me why I had to go to the doctor.

Once we got outside the school (and outside of earshot), my mom explained that there was no doctor's appointment, she just wanted to play hookey! She took me shopping and to a movie and to McDonald's.

About three times each year, I would wake up to my mom coming into my room, gently waking me up, and hear her say, "What do you have on your schedule today at school?" I'd tell her about the classes or subjects we were going to learn about. She would ask, "Do you have any tests?" If I didn't, she might surprise me. I can still see the sly smile when she said, "I think you don't feel so good today. You have a 'fever' and you need to stay home. I guess I need to call into work to take care of you." Then we'd either go shopping, or to movies, or just stay home cleaning and blasting the radio.

But the best thing my mom ever did for me regarding sick days and school was a day when I was in fourth grade. My teacher was the scariest woman I have ever met in my life. She had large eighties hair and wore more make up than Tammy Faye. And she was mean! One day, a classmate of mine didn't have his homework done. It was the sixth day in a row that he didn't have his math problems completed. Our teacher stood him up in front of the 25 other students and yelled at him! She was so angry!

That night, I went home and realized that I didn't bring my math workbook home. I was mortified. It wasn't as if I had missed homework days before, but I was so afraid that she would yell at me and point me out to the class. I had planned on doing my homework that night, hey it was math, I loved math (and still do!), but I was now faced with the dilemma of not having the problems in front of me. My English workbook was no help to the missing math problems.

My mom knew something was wrong. She comforted me and asked me what happened. I told her how afraid I was of the teacher and what happened to the other kid that day at school. She knew my teacher (from conferences) and was just as afraid of the woman. It was time for Mom to save the day!

The next morning, my mom told me to stay home and she called into work because I was 'sick'. Then came the twenty questions. Mom asked me about recess a lot. "When does your class go to recess? Where do they go? Does your teacher go with? Where do you sit in the classroom?"

You guessed it, my mom broke into my elementary school, snuck INTO class, and stole my math workbook. She brought the book home and helped me with my homework.

I love my mom. She is just amazing.


*My elementary school was round. It was almost impossible to get lost in it. This may have something to do with my lack of directional skills. But you could figure out where your class was because the kids got taller as you went around the school!