Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tips From My Mom #16

Today one of the cutest little girls in the universe quietly asked me if I would read with her.  In addition to being ADORABLE she is also very soft spoken.  It is sometimes difficult to understand her speech so she'll often facilitate communication by signing.  I wasn't quite sure what she wanted at first but when she repeated it and her tiny hands signed book I realized her intention.

The fact that this quiet, undemanding child sought me out and asserted herself in this atypical way prompted me to drop everything I was doing.  I took the Berenstain Bears Bears in the Night book she offered and we walked hand in hand to the rug.  We quietly read together amidst the noise and chaos in the room.

It was a nice moment.

The interesting part of this, for me, was that this exchange happened during lunch.  Our kindergarten students eat lunch in the classroom instead of going down to the school cafeteria.  Generally there is about ten or fifteen minutes of independent reading between the time the children finish eating and when they leave for recess. While the children read and mill about taking and returning books to the various book bins, I busy myself with wiping down the tables, sweeping the floor and putting food away.  It is not a particularly relaxing time for me as I endeavor to move quickly though these tasks in order to get the little ones out the door in time.

It was during my cleaning frenzy that this small girl looked up at me and asked me to read with her.  It would have been so easy to say, "Not now" or "I'll be over in a minute" (and probably never end up going) but I thought of my mom and set aside the Clorox wipes.

Funny how long ago memories return in an instant to influence the decisions we make.  I remembered all those times when my brothers and I were young and asked Ma to play a game with us.  We'd ask her when she was in the middle of cooking dinner.  We'd ask her as she passed us with a laundry basket full of clean clothes ready to be put away.  We'd ask her as she attended to the bazillion chores she carried out to keep our home running smoothly.  Sometimes she would say "no" but sometimes she would say "yes".  And when she would say yes it felt like we were given the best gift there is.  Mom was stopping to play a game with us!

Today I remembered that kid perspective.  I remembered what it felt like to have someone drop everything and take a moment to share something so simple, yet amazing, with me.  Today I remembered my mom and that remembering made me a better teacher.

The dirty tables and messy floor could wait.  But the moments to listen to a child pass too quickly.

Thank you mom for all the times you played Uno, Trouble and Monopoly with us.

Especially since I now know you hate Monopoly.


Ms. H said...

When we take time for people, it shows them they are important. You can tell them they are important a million times, but actions speak louder than words. I loved the story. It's very inspirational.

Gary said...

Ms. H - I didn't even really think of it but this is an example of actions speak louder than words indeed. I will be mindful of this as I share my time with the little ones.

Anonymous said...

Lovely blogpost. I haven't been over to your place for a while, apologies. And thanks for your best wishes. The 27 years of marriage have zipped by; I've been lucky. Actually, I first met my wife Brigitte aka The Frog Queen 31 years ago. Crikey indeed.

Pauline said...

My mother and yours had a lot in common. And you're right - their influence still informs us today. Without realizing it (well, maybe she did), your mom helped make you the kind of teacher you are today. That's a good thing!

Hilary said...

Thank you for being the kind of teacher that you are.. and your mom for being that kind of parent. That kind of caring makes the world a much better place.

Mom said...

You truly are amazing!

You are such a caring and giving teacher! You give me too much credit.

I love you my happy baby! Proud of you!

Love ya,

Mom xxoo

Angella said...

I think you have an amazing mother and I love that she calls you her happy baby. And she's right. You are an amazing teacher, so present.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...there is a good message in this...and in learning to show value in be willing to drop everything...smiles at that helping you remember your mom...

nice POTW gary

Hilary said...

very sweet tribute to your Mom, and a reminder to all of us, about what is important.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh, that's a sweet story and memory of your mom. So glad you were able to take the time to stop and read.

And, congrats on your POTW from Hilary.

sage said...

A nice story and one worthy of POTW. Congratulations!


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