Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Gem of a Day

Well, the jaw thing fixed itself, and now I have a cold. I'd sort of expected it, as my son has been sick for a while now. Luckily, the version I have seems to be short-lived and I'm much improved today after the sudden onset on Friday night.

On Thursday I volunteered all day at my son's school as usual and had an awesome day. I just felt like things were flowing and, well, good. First, when I went to the office to sign in and pick up my volunteer badge, the office administrator didn't even get up. "Come on back and grab a badge," she said, smiling. "Heck, you're a regular!" That just tickled me so much.

Then the kids had an assembly in which certain "star students" received a certificate and a bumper sticker ("My kid is a Star Student at ___________!" A mom friend called me over to sit next to her. I did, and noticed a first-grade girl was weeping and kept looking back at the auditorium door. No one was comforting her, so after a couple more heartbreaking minutes of watching her look back at the door and dissolve into tears again, I went over and sat on the floor behind her. Frankly, I wasn't sure if that was "okay" with the teacher (I thought I might be seen as meddling), but I went with my instincts. The girl didn't want to say what was wrong, but when I asked if she was expecting her mom, she nodded and cried more, so I rubbed her back a little bit and told her I was sure her mom was trying to get there. Her friend sitting next to her patted her on the back, too. She was SO SAD I felt like crying. In that moment, I could feel what it must be like from the mother's perspective (doing her best to get there, or being overwhelmed and forgetting, and missing her kid's special moment) and the child's perspective (aware that she might remember this for a long time), and I felt bad for both of them. After some singing, the teacher in charge announced the awards, and this girl got an award. I happened to have my camera in my purse from Halloween (thank goodness I don't clean out my purse much!), so when she went up to get her award, I took her picture and will give it to her teacher next week to give to her mom. When she came back to her spot, I congratulated her and told her I'd taken her picture for her mom, and she seemed pleased with that. After receiving her award, she seemed to be participating in the singing and not crying much, if at all. When the assembly was over we all got up and she smiled at me. I couldn't exactly fix the situation, but I felt like I had made a positive difference.

The other awesome thing that happened at school was when I was testing the kids on their letters. I tested D., who had not been able to move past the first list of letters for weeks...and he got through the whole first list! I told him several times I was so proud of him and acted all silly and whatnot, and he was grinning from ear to ear. This kid wears glasses, but has a little nose and little ears and not much for the glasses to hold onto, so they're always crooked, and I have a special place in my heart for him. He was so cute and proud and happy that he told the teacher he'd passed the pink list, and she was appropriately happy, too.

On top of that, I got a few spontaneous hugs from some of the kids, which always makes my day just that much more special. Oh, and I took my son to the doctor on Thursday evening because he'd been saying his ear was hurting all day, and it turned out that he was fine. His ears were great and his lungs (he'd had a cough) were great, and the pain was being caused by the emergence of his sixth-year molars. Apparently because of the way the nerves are connected, the pain is referenced to the ear, and all I had to give him was plain old Tylenol. Yay!

Like I said, it was an awesome day -- the kind I want to put in my pocket and carry around for a long time. :-)