As the school year begins, I find myself incredibly busy.
My son just started kindergarten this year and my daughter began preschool. There is a whirlwind of paperwork, various meetings, and a constant shuttling of kids back and forth between activities. I work hard to keep things running smoothly, but my kids are completely oblivious to all this hard work. Now I realize that I took all my mom’s hard work for granted when I was a kid, too.
Perhaps it’s a bit overdue, but here are the things for which I would like to thank my mother.
1} Being my personal chauffeur
I was a very busy child and I had a plethora of afterschool activities. There were dance classes, piano lessons, art classes, theater productions, and plenty of other things that I have forgotten. My poor mother had to drag me around to all of these things and then usually had to wait around throughout the lesson until I was finished. After a full day’s work, I’m sure that my mother must have been tired, but she never complained about driving me around all evening. She never made me feel guilty that all my activities were cutting into her own free time. I will try to have as good of an attitude while I take my own children to their various lessons, even though there are times when I would much prefer to be at home, curled up in my bed and watching television. Luckily, I have inherited my mother’s love of reading, so the time passes quickly with a good book at hand.
2} Feeding me
Every night, I knew that I would be provided with a nice, hot dinner, but I never realized the sheer amount of planning required to feed an entire family. Now that I am in charge of my family’s meals, I most certainly do. Thanks for cooking for everyone, Mom! As I am struggling to find food to pack in my kids’ lunch boxes that they will actually eat, I realize that I also took school lunches for granted. Packing lunch boxes is definitely not one my favorite chores. I was the type of child who refused to eat peanut butter sandwiches (I still hate them!), so my mother had to come up with all sorts of other alternatives. I am thankful that now I can use some of those good lunch ideas on my own picky eaters.
3} Papers, papers, papers
As the school year begins, I find myself filling out mountains of forms, permission slips, and other assorted paperwork. The worst part is that as a parent, I am in charge of making sure that everything gets filled out correctly and then I must get them to the right place at the right time. I never knew how much organization parenting requires! Thanks for taking the time to get all my paperwork in order, Mom! I really appreciate that I never had to miss out on field trips or book fairs because my mother always managed to send me prepared to school everyday.
Mostly, I find myself trying to emulate my mother’s enthusiasm. When I was a child, she was always my biggest supporter, even when I had some pretty zany ideas. I was able to explore all of my interests with the full support and enthusiasm of my mother. She was never reluctant to get involved with any of my crazy endeavors. She even played along when my brother and I pretended that we were guests on a cruise ship and she was our cook and personal servant. In public! Showing enthusiasm for your children can take a lot of effort on days when you are tired and worn out, but it’s worth it to the smiles on your children’s faces. A mother’s support will help create confident children.
I’m sure that I will discover many other facets of my mother that I took for granted as a child as my own children continue to grow and develop. There are also many other things that perhaps I will never notice, but I am grateful all the same.