My First Mother's Day

**I wrote this last week, but it somehow got stuck in my drafts**

Because I move around the school and don't have a class of my own, most students at school see me as the "cool" teacher. Some don't even know I'm a teacher and think I am just the "bus lady" or "hallway patrol officer." I have learned to love my different roles in the school because I've been able to befriend several kids in the school. I wanted to write about one conversation I had today...

K: "Happy Mother's Day! I brought you these!!"

Me: "Thank you, but I am not a mother."

K: "But you will be my next mama."

And my heart broke in two. I wanted to cry. But instead, I hugged my little friend tightly and whispered that I loved her and my new bracelets. These three bracelets were probably 50 cents, but they mean just as much to me as that ring on my finger (eek!). They mean so much to me because my little friend thought of me. She doesn't have anything, yet she so willingly gives me the jewelry off her arm.

This little girl chooses and begs to stay in at recess because she wants me to read with her. Yesterday, we played a math game. I've never heard of a child willingly gives up their recess in order to read or do math. But this sweet girl does. But really, it's not at all about missing recess, it's about getting the one-on-one attention she so desires.

Usually, when we talk about children wanting attention, its a bad thing. But the fact of the matter, is that children NEED attention. They need affirmation. The need love. They need food. They need someone to help them put band-aids. They need confirmation that they are doing the right thing, and redirection when they aren't. And some children make it obvious by throwing tantrums and crying over little things. However, some children show you asking to read with you at recess, or hugging you a little longer before leaving for the bus line.

Sometimes, I try to hurry these little children around. I rush them to the gym and then to class. I am exhausted at the end of the day, so I rush them into their bus line. Some days, I quickly forget how much of a role I play in some of their lives. The love and attention they need from me is vital for their development. I often forget that lots of these children are not growing up in a home like I did. They don't have a mom and dad to love on them. They don't have someone to help them with their homework. They don't have dinner every night. School is where they come to feel safe and loved.

I know that I am a teacher, and I am also an authority figure for these students. But I hope I am able to use my authority to show students love. To show them how adults should act. I hope that I will stop rushing these students, and will continue to take the time to get to them. To know more than just their name. I want these students, as young as they are, to realize that they have a purpose and a meaning. That their story is just beginning...

Cheers to all the moms. Biological moms. Foster mom. Adoptive moms. Dads who are moms. Gradmas. And women like me, who have no children, yet will love any child like they are their own. Happy Mother's Day.