These dedicated mothers came into the classroom to support their child when he/she was presenting a project. They cheered on their child during in-line skating and sat in the bleachers when we had swimming lessons.
Occasionally they would shower me with starbucks drinks or flowers. The biggest surprise happened in March, for my birthday.
Let me explain: On March 8, I took the day off. I had never had a personal day in my 5 years of teaching. I have also always been under the notion that people should not have to work on their birthday. I am also not a big fan of all the 'birthday attention'. You know, when someone mentions over the intercom that it is your birthday and you can't walk down the hall without hundreds of kids saying, "Happy birthday, Mrs. Ward!" "Happy birthday, Mrs. Ward!" "Happy birthday, Mrs. Ward!" "Mrs. Ward! (run hug) Happy birthday!" Most people love this. It just makes me uncomfortable. I know - I'm being ridiculous.
On March 8th, I booked a sub and enjoyed a quiet morning, brunch with friends, a massage in the afternoon, followed by dinner with my husband. It was fantastic day! My kind of day.
Monday morning I went into school a bit early. To my astonishment, my entire classroom was littered with birthday decorations. I did what any attention-phobic person would do...I panicked. I took down the decorations around my door and 'rearranged' the ones in my classroom. I had no idea who was responsible for this, but I assumed it was one of my teaching colleages since we had just had a conversation about how I didn't like the 'birthday attention'. I assumed it was a joke - I was wrong.
As the kids were arriving, so were The Moms. They came into the classroom carrying flowers, balloons and cupcakes. As they entered, they too looked around with astonishment and said, "Where are all the decorations we worked so hard to put up?"
Again, I panicked! I had no idea what to say. I felt so horrible. I found out later that The Moms had arranged with the principal to come into the school on Sunday afternoon to decorate my classroom. The principal had even e-mailed my husband to ask him to make sure I didn't go into school during the weekend.
Throughout the day, The Moms brought me more gifts and continued to spoil me. I was able to explain what happened and let them know that I thought it was my colleagues playing a joke on me. In the end, it all worked out.
I didn't mention the birthday suit - or should I say outfit, that was specially made for me. I wore it during lunch and modeled it during our after school staff meeting.
Besides the birthday surprise, one more special day really stands out. The last day of school my main route to school was shut down due to flooding. It took me an entire hour and 40 minutes to get to school. When I finally arrived, the students had already been in class for 10 minutes. I rushed into my classroom to find one mom standing in the front asking students to get a book to read. The rest of The Moms were standing at the side of the room. My students were just sitting there, reading quietly. What can I say - The Moms are amazing.
Needless to say, The Moms have taught me a lot about what it means to be a supportive parent. They knew when to approach me, continued to encourage me and seemed to know just the right time to bring a chai latte.
I am so thankful to have had them as teaching partners this year. I will miss them dearly.