Daddy Didn’t Know

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So apparently my husband had no idea that we give out teacher appreciation gifts! I’m not sure how he missed that. We’ve had kids in school for the past 16 years now. I used to do a Christmas gift, maybe a little something for their birthdays- but add that to the pile of “things I did when I had a few kids!” Now, I run a zoo, so it’s just once a year that I sit down and try to show my appreciation for the people who spend almost as much time with my kids as I do- and if you know my kids, you know these amazing people deserve some appreciation! Daddy should have realized that even if there wasn’t a tradition of teacher appreciation already in place, there would need to be some kind of recognition for the people who help tame our circus!

This year I thought it would be fun to make some edible arrangements. Every single time that commercial comes on, KK asks me if we can order one of those. I looked once- I was going to surprise her, and when I saw the price, let’s just say that fell off my to-do list. I thought “surely they couldn’t be that hard…”

My little ZooCrew was so excited to open the fridge this morning and see the creations they got to give their teachers! One teacher even emailed me a pic of her enjoying it!

I can tell you this, they are labor intensive, but well worth the time to do them yourself. I gave the first one to the office personnel at the elementary school. I was surprised that my little one was as emotional as I was to be leaving elementary school. I’ve had a kid on that campus for the past 15 years in a row! All year I’ve said “thank goodness, next year I’ll have one less stop!” I have kids on each of the four campuses in our little town, and that’s chaotic when I try to drop everyone off in the mornings! I was looking forward to ditching the stop that is the furthest out, but then the other day it hit me. This is the end of an era.
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I looked at the office ladies and handed them that arrangement and said “I love you all, but this is GOODBYE!” They laughed, and we decided that the KK had spent the least amount of time visiting the office out of the crew. Later when my little Diva burst into tears because she was going to miss “all her best teachers” I was choking back a few of my own. We’ve shared some special moments- like the time Blondie fell on the steps of the gym and broke her butt! Literally!! I’ve probably fielded more than 500 calls from the nurse- poison ivy, fever, stomach virus, broken bone, stitches, Band-Aids, I’ve heard it all. Then there was that time somebody had a fifty-dollar-bill to pay for their $8 class picture and intuition told them to give me a call! Another time one of them tried to buy extra snacks in the cafeteria with two pennies and a nickel. They were only 43 cents short! I can’t even sort half of what is popping into my head right now.

When I first adopted the youngest four, it was the elementary principal who led the charge to collect extra clothes and toys and things to help our family scrape by. I’ve seen principals come and go, I’ve seen a few teachers move on and retire, but I was still there year after year.

I’ve been everything from the head room mother, to the PTO President, to that mom who can’t seem to sign a folder every night. I’ve been to Read-a-Thons, Christmas Parties, Fall Festivals, Spring Flings, and everything in between. They’ve seen me at my best, when I hand sewed gift bags for every student in my daughters class and brought treats every Friday. They’ve seen me at my worst; they’ve seen the moments when I pull up in the drop-off lane in my pajamas, with three-day-old make-up smeared under my eyes because I hadn’t slept in a week. They’ve definitely seen every side I have to show.

Have you ever heard that saying by Hunter Thompson… he says “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” Yeah, I’m definitely accomplishing that. And today, the journey leaves Rockdale Elementary. The next time I come to this quaint little school with the elephant and the giraffe protruding from the bricks, I won’t be a room mom. I won’t be a parent at all, but I’ll be there for “Grandparent’s Grub” when Little Miss Sunshine goes to PreK. Lucky for me, that’s a few years away.

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3 responses »

  1. That is such a great tribute to your elementary school experience. I am saying goodbye to ours this week, too, after 9 years. I will miss the life of an elementary school parent for sure! Your idea for a goodbye treat is adorable, too. I know it won’t happen for me (2 graduations this week!) but I’ll keep it in my back pocket for that middle school health clerk!!!

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