Growing up as an only child to a young single mother I was, and still am, the apple of my mothers’ eye. I ALWAYS felt like a priority in my mothers life because she made her love and commitment to raising me so evident in how she treated me, how she spoke to me, and the strategic plays that she made in this game of life to make sure that I became the woman and mother that I am today.
My mother placed great emphasis on education. She had high expectations of me as a student as well as of the educators she entrusted me to.
As a 9 year-old fourth grader new to a private Catholic school where most of its students had been there since pre-school, I was the new girl on the block. Not yet known to the students or the teachers. To make matters worse I had a horrendous hair style that I won’t dare elaborate on and a grape flavored retainer that I accidentally broke at least once every few months.
I can’t recall the name of my fourth grade teacher but I remember her being a mousey strawberry blonde with very rosy cheeks. On one particular day the teacher and my mother had a conference regarding bad behavior I was being accused of by another student. I was not present for the parent-teacher conference, but remember my mother questioning me about the accusation (which from what I remember was on the subject of following students who were behaving badly).
I was always more interested in pleasing Mom than pleasing peers and usually avoided things that were sure to get me in trouble. I told Mom my side of the story. This time she initiated the conference…with the principal! I was actually present for this sit down and remember my mother calmly telling the principal that she understood his position on believing the teacher because she is, after all, his employee. With that being said, she continued by respectfully telling the principal that she believed what I told her was the truth. Her position as a mother is to correct me when I am wrong, and when I am not she is to support me because I am her daughter and the person who cares for me more than anyone else in this world.
I recount this “school story” not to encourage parents around the world to believe every tale their children narrates. Nor do I retell this story to encourage parents to negate what teachers and principals say about the children who they are with more often than the parents themselves. I retell this story because it was one of the best learning experiences that I had as a child.
My mother believed in me. She did not allow for others to inappropriately label me and it only increased my respect for her and my commitment to continuously make her proud. I finished out my fourth grade year free of bad behavior reports and plenty of gold stars.
Thanks to the SITS girls for issuing the challenge to share a “school story.” I know mine is a bit different, but it is one of the most memorable stories in my vault.