Now there are many, many things about being a parent that I just don't groove with. I'm not great at getting down on the floor & playing. My patience level, even at best, is not enough to carry me through a session of Barbies or Batman. My mind wanders. Selfish, I know. I've tried. Lord knows I've tried. And I have gotten a wee bit better. A wee bit.
But reading to my kiddos is a whole different story. This I love. As a kid, I loved books. As an adult, I love books. I will rarely say no to my kids if they want to buy a book. I love changing my voice & inflection to suit the story, I enjoy getting animated as I read. I really hope to bring the story to life for my kids.
Needless to say, I immediately checked my calendar & signed up for two dates to visit & read. Mrs. H (S's teacher) sent home an updated list of parent readers and I was explaining to S about how I excited I was for my dates to come up. During this conversation (which occurred last Thursday), we discovered that there was no one signed up for tomorrow (Friday). S BEGGED me to email her teacher and raced to her room to select a book for me to read. I futilely attempted to explain to her that there was no guarantee Mrs. H would need me tomorrow.
Lucky for me, she gladly accepted my offer to come read. I told S before she left for school that I would see her a little sooner than pick-up time because I was coming to read to her class. She beamed. My heart melted. And something else struck me:
That I needed to remember the moments when she is proud to show off her mom. Here is my Facebook post from that day:
Today I will go to school & read to Sophia's class, both because she begged me to & I want to. Today I will try very hard to remember & hold the memory of my daughter wanting me around & actually being excited about it. Because I know, that before I know it, all she'll want from me is cash & car keys & I will want the memory of today to hold onto. (I think I'll even bring the camera!)And so I went. Bringing with me a few of our favorite family books: this one & this one.
The kids gathered around the reading chair & the sight of 23 sets of big, anticipating eyes was so overwhelming at first that I almost began to feel nervous.
But when I opened the book & began to read and saw just how closely they were paying attention, any nervousness washed away and I became intent on bringing the book to life for them, just as I do for S & W.
And, guess what?
Twenty minutes later, I was getting bear hugs & "Thank You Mrs. Gleason's" by most of the class. And hiding a few tears...Even W got a bunch of "High Fives" from his sisters' classmates.
I will remember that day. I'll cling to it when the day comes when the last thing my girl wants is for her mother to show up at school. I'll cling to this memory when she's learning to drive, when she's graduating high school, when she thinks she knows it all & I know nothing.
I'll cling to it. (What I won't have is pictures. Because someone forgot to charge the battery in her camera!)
keep calm & carry on,