A few days ago we had a parent teacher conference with the mother of one of our sweet boys. He's one of those little children who may not know the most information in the class, but always works hard, loves learning, tries his best, gets along with his peers, and looks at you with big eyes that just say "I'm so glad I'm here- what can you teach me?" One of those little boys you love teaching.
It was an average parent-teacher conference- through the translator we listened to his mother's work schedule, how she only gets time to spend with him from 9-10, she knows it's late but he stays up to read books with her- and when she doesn't read his library books to him he gets upset. Her love for him came through as she quietly talked about what they do together.
She is a junior in high school.
When I was a junior in high school I was worried about getting into college, whether or not I was ready for the week's cross country race, my friends, boys, and who was taking who to homecoming. And a few years later in college I was still only worried about my college classes, cross country, and frat parties. And I thought my life was busy, crazy, stressful. I thought life was tough, thought I was the busiest person on earth, and that the world revolved around me. I imagine most juniors in high school, and most college students, feel the same way.
I cannot imagine taking care of a kindergartner, worrying about getting to parent-teacher conferences, of thinking about taking care of another person. Getting myself ready for school while getting my child ready at the same time. I would not have known the right questions to ask teachers, would not have known what was important, how to tell what is important, and how manage time to make sure my child.
I sat and listened to her talk about her little family. The love between her and her son is clearly very strong. She's passed on a love of reading to her son. She's showing her son how important learning is as he watches her do her homework, go off to school everyday, and get him ready for school. So much good is happening in that house- good I'm not sure I could have produced in eleventh grade.