Wednesday, February 23, 2011

That's important to me

When I was a little girl, I was (still am actually) chubby and bespectacled and shy and not-very-hip and not-very-popular. I was picked on so very much. One of the "best" places for all this teasing and cruelty was on the horrible 45 minute bus ride to and from school. When we decided to have children and it became clear I was going to stay home, I never wanted Nathan to ride the bus. We, of course, knew when we were pregnant with Stomp that we'd be leaving that hate-infested craphole called Albuquerque and moving to the Utopia of Nebraska ("The Good Life" indeed!), but I definitely didn't want Nathan to be on the bus anyway. Sure, it's an emotional reaction and believe me, almost everyone has given me a hard time about my decision. Nonetheless, my little boy is not going to spend his ride to school being teased or made fun of or flat out bullied*. By taking him to school, I have control over the last interactions he has before he steps into a learning environment. I know he's walking into school feeling loved and empowered and confident. I know he's heading in there with positive interactions on his plate along with a heaping side dish of kisses, hugs and "I love you"s. These things not only strengthen him and prepare him for learning, they strengthen him for dealing with teasing, whether it happens to him or someone else. I feel better knowing that even if someone were to pick on him, he'd be able to let it roll off his back, to a certain degree, because he's wrapped up in love and praise.

Besides all that good (and important) stuff, I treasure the times I get to take him to and from school. It's one of those snapshots you could take of my day that would sum up my life. Getting Nathan ready (though most mornings it's crazy, despite my best efforts! I hate you One-Glove-Disease!) and being able to drive him to school where I can hug and kiss him as he gets out of the car is a cherished part of my routine. When I pick him up after school, I usually have the option of showing up a little early and watching the kids play on the playground at their last recess. I take a book and a cup of tea and I have a few quiet moments to myself to read. I catch Nathan as the excitement of the day starts to settle down. I ask questions about his day and it's all still fresh in his mind. I get to laugh with him over his highs and hug away his lows. I've met other parents (including my very own Nikki) and gotten to know the teachers and the staff. I get to see and interact with his friends (many of whom will run over and hug me) and I just get to be plugged in. It truly is a wonderful and blessed life.

**I have no idea if this kind of thing goes on in Nebraska, but I assume it happens everywhere.

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.
-Mildred B. Vermont

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