My phone hardly ever rings. When it does, typically it’s one of three people: my hubby, my mom or my sister. Lately though there’s a new number that’s making the list. I know it by heart now and each time those numbers pop up on the shiny screen of my phone, I cringe. Yeah. That good. Guess who it is? I’ll give you three chances.
The fans beating down my door? Nope.
Publisher’s Clearing House? Oh wait, they knock on the door. And no.
It’s the school. More pointedly-it’s the Elementary School Principal. Yeah, he and I? We’re on a first name basis now. And it’s not a good thing.
The number popped up on my screen again today and the typical sense of dread coursed through my veins. It’s hard to be cheery when you know bad news is on the other line. But I paint on a smile any way (they say it actually transfers to your voice) and I answered. Oh the temptation to let it go to voice mail! But here’s my thought on calls from the principal: it’s kind of like ripping of a band aid. Better to just do it and do it fast than let it linger in the voice mail box all day.
Fortunately this new principal is amazing. Putting the kids in a new school was a stress we weren’t looking forward too and apparently we’re past the honeymoon phase with X-Man. Now his true colors are shining through like a technicolor jukebox blasting in the second grade classroom. Only this music maker isn’t playing good ‘ole Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. Though mamma feels like a weepin’ willow and I’ve got a healthy fear of Folsom.
But I digress. This principal-he actually asked for my opinion. He was up for suggestions instead of trying to shove policy and love and logic down my throat. And the biggest thing-he told me not to be discouraged. That I have a great kid. And that the hubs and I are making a difference. For the first time a call from the principal actually made me cry good tears.
So all you parents out there-you know who you are. The ones that the school has on speed dial and the bus driver can tail your car like a race car driver-yes you.
I know you’re frazzled. I call them #MomDays. Days and experiences you become intimate with when you’ve got munchkins flitting out into the world. I know what you’re thinking as you watch your kiddo walk out the door to wait at the bus stop. It usually goes something like this:splease please please PLEASE let him/her have a good day. And by good I mean please let me NOT get a call from the school. Am I right? Or maybe it’s something like this: Well, there they go. All bets are off!
Either way-I know what you’re feeling. I know what you’re thinking when that number pops up on the screen. But when it all comes down to it, here’s the deal: You can’t make their choices for them. No matter what tools you give them-they are going to make their own choices. Good or bad. And that’s not on you. What is on you is this: YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
A good one. An AMAZING one.
Because you show up. Each day. Every morning when that alarm clock goes off and you pour yourself a steaming cup of courage while you slather on the PB&J. You go to the conferences and the meetings. And you still take them to the park to blow off steam. Because even though there are consequences, there’s still love. You reprimand, and then you remind them that they are smart. They have a big heart. And you know that they can make the right choices. Then you climb into bed and pray for a better day tomorrow.
And someday, that tomorrow will come. I promise. It may take awhile, but I can guarantee this: you will get there. Both of you. Because you’re making a difference. And that difference lasts. Just remember that next time you get that phone call. And remember that you’re not alone-I’ve got your back.