On Being Human

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Here I sit on day two of our parent/teacher conferences, obviously bored to tears because I have resorted to writing another blog!  Yesterday was quite a bit busier than today, and I have finished all grading and planning and am left yearning for Fall Break. 

Parents come and parents go, but once in a while one comes in that actually wants to relate to the teacher, actually wants to just have a nice grown-up conversation that doesn’t involve how junior is doing academically.  One such parent came in yesterday and just made my world a little brighter.  I wasn’t showered with accolades; we just had a mom moment that felt like a breath of fresh air.

This mom asked me if I ever cried!  Odd question to start a P/T conference.  Yes, I said.  She proceeded to clarify her question by asking if I ever cried randomly for no reason or was it  during certain times of the month.  Well, quite frankly, I do both. In fact, sometimes I don’t even need a reason to cry.  Then she shared how she was driving her youngest and last child to the high school when it suddenly hit her that he was the last one left.  Tears just started welling up in her eyes.  Well, I could certainly relate. 

I told her that had happened to me just the day before.  I drove my daughter to a nearby town to do some shopping and we met her boyfriend there.  We shopped, laughed, and then she asked if she could ride back home with her boyfriend.  I gave my consent, not thinking much of it, and hugged them all goodbye before I climbed into my truck.  I pulled out of the parking lot and turned into the left turn lane as they pulled into the right turn lane.  My daughter waved and smiled her prettiest (and orneriest) as they sped off into the evening.  Suddenly I was choking down tears as I realized how precious little time I had left with her.

Then I shared another experience with the mom that had occured several days prior to that.  I was reading some essays from my students about personal experiences and had to stop and wipe the tears out of my eyes before someone saw me.  Sometimes seeing what students endure and how they overcome is more than my tender heart can stand.

She and I both chatted a little bit longer about our need to cry from time to time, and then we proceeded to talk about junior and his chances for valedictorian!  But that brief moment meant more to me than being patted on the back or being selected as “Teacher of the Year”.  It was so nice to have someone just come in and be HUMAN.

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