By Marge’s Son
In 1966 I started kindergarten. The bus stop was in our front yard, and my mom put me out there with the other kids to wait. “Stand here,” I was told, “and when the bus comes, get on it. When the bus gets to the school, get off and someone will tell you where to go.”
The bus came, but I didn’t get on. Instead, I went back in the house. My mom was there with the rest of my family, and when she saw me I could tell what she was thinking, “This one clearly needs more supervision.”
Which I got. All through school my mom was on top of things. Getting me to bed on time, getting me up on time, making sure my clothes were clean, my lunch was packed and my homework was done correctly. She drove on field trips, stayed home with me when I was sick and baked cupcakes on my birthday. She didn’t do anything huge; she did all the small things that go into raising a child. She did all the stuff that every teacher wants every student’s mom to do.
Twenty years after the failed bus ride I was a very young teacher. I was living at home, trying to save money for my upcoming wedding. My little brother was home from college and we decided to go skiing. It was a Wednesday night and my mom saw me heading out the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Me and Steve are going skiing.”
“Steve and I. And isn’t it a school night? Are your lessons planned for tomorrow?”
Always the mom. Always worrying; never fully convinced that I would succeed without supervision. And always right.
Throughout my career I’ve had to measure every parent of every student against the standard set by my parents. Some have come close. They’ve done all the little things. They get their kids to bed on time, get them up on time, make sure their clothes are clean, their lunches are packed and their homework is done correctly. They come on field trips, stay home with their kids when they’re sick and bake cupcakes on their birthday. They do all the small things that go into raising a child. All the stuff that every teacher wants every student’s mom to do.
Twenty years after the ski trip I was up on a stage at a huge convention center in Washington, DC, receiving an award for teaching. As I stood there, I saw my mom in the crowd. She looked relaxed; as if realizing that a lifetime of supervision – of parenting – had finally paid off.
This is for you, Mom. Thanks for everything. It’s also for the rest of the moms, who make what we do possible.