I have celebrated eight Mother’s Days (if you count the one when I was pregnant with my daughter who is now 7-years-old). I am very fortunate to have 3 wonderful children: Trista (7), Pauli (4), and Carson (1). I am proud of each one of them for many reasons. When I became a mom, I became a better person and a better educator. I strongly believe this to be true. I thank my children every day for the joy they bring me and the opportunity to be their mom each day.
Each year, I vowed to myself that I would take time on Mother’s Day to reflect on the year and write a note to each of my children. They are the reason I get to celebrate Mother’s Day, so why not take a bit of time telling them how much they mean to me and how fortunate I am to have each of them in my life (sappy, I know). This year, I have written my notes to my children in my blog.
You are my first-born child, my only little girl. You are so kind and caring to everyone, always willing to help someone in need. This year, you have become a wonderful reader and writer. I am impressed each and every day when you share your reading and writing with me. You make me so proud because you always do your best. You are kind to your school-mates. They can always count on you to be a nice friend who includes everyone. I don’t think I have ever heard you say an unkind word about another person (well, maybe your brothers). You are a very good big sister, being caring, kind, and guiding them to be the same way. Thank you for being you: sweet, loving, caring, inclusive, kind, smart, helpful, and enthusiastic about everything. I love you so much!
You are my first son. You are such a sweet child. You are kind, compassionate, helpful, sensitive, and empathetic. You think of everyone else first (hard to believe since you are only 4-years-old). It warms my heart when I hear you say to your sick sister, “How are you feeling now, Beans?” Not many 4-year-old boys would be interested in consoling their big sister. Your heart is so big and full of love. You are also very smart and funny. You are always making us laugh. We often wonder how you come up with the things you do. Thank you for being a wonderful son and brother to your siblings. I love you very much, Pauli.
You are my last baby. You are such a character. Sometimes we wonder how someone so little can have so much strength – physically and emotionally. Oh my. You have such a strong will and always let us know when you want something, and want it NOW. (We need to work on your patience with you.) You will definitely help to keep us young – your energy is amazing. You have only been a member of our family for not even 17 months, yet, it seems like you have been with us forever. I can’t imagine not having you as part of our family. Thank you for teaching us and keeping us on our toes. I love you with all my heart!
I had been a teacher for about 10 years before I had my first child. Before children, I thought I was a pretty good teacher. I worked hard to make connections with my students and their families. I had empathy and understanding. While I didn’t think it was possible, things changed when I had children of my own. I am now more empathetic and even more understanding of my families. Even though my kids are still small, I understand how difficult it is being a parent and trying to juggle everything at home and at school. (This is one of the reasons I no longer give homework. It is just too difficult for many of our families to get to this work. Too often, the homework ends up causing a rift between family members and, in turn, the school. Families do not need that extra stress.)
I am a better educator now that I have children of my own. While before I had children I would have been offended if someone ever said this to me, I now know how true it is.
(I must say, though, I know many terrific educators who do not have children of their own.)
I am so very fortunate to be a mom to three wonderful kids. They continue to shape who I am as a person and educator. For this, I am forever grateful.