10/9/11

It just feels better when someone else gets the gift. Didn't you learn that in kindergarten?





Do you remember two years ago when I was struggling with the idea of letting Sassy choose what college she was going to attend?  It’s a defining moment in parenthood, the one where you literally hand over that decision making process that will alter the course of your child’s life.



But it’s an important one.



I stepped back and watched as Sassy followed her heart and her gut- and have thanked God that I had the courage to do that.  (Or stupidity, depending on who you’re talking to.)


I was so excited to attend Sassy’s field hockey game yesterday, as they have had many away games this year that take them to the other ends of the earth!   It was nice to see many familiar faces, and we smiled and laughed, floating on cloud nine as the girls won a hard fought game in overtime.  These are the kinds of games that exhilarate you; that get your blood pumping and that remind you of the glory that a fall afternoon in a cheering stadium can bring to your soul.



We waited after the game in large room inside the stadium for the victorious team to join the traditional tailgate.  The walls were wall-to-wall windows, allowing the sun to stream in and afforded us a glorious view of the array of color lining the mountains that surrounded us.   Parents were busy readying the tables; students and sibling were telling stories and laughing; and some parents new to the process stood around the periphery, curiously waiting for a cue of what to do. 


I made eye contact with a woman who looked familiar and smiled a hello as I moved around to find a table. 


The team soon joined us and we ate to our hearts content, all the while catching snippets of stories from the hard-fought game that were making their way around the room.   I enjoyed it so, and didn’t realize how much I needed it.  It was a reminder of how important it is to live in the day, and how important it is to share it with others.  


I mentioned to Sassy that I needed to leave, and gathered my things to go.   I maneuvered my way around the tables, and felt a hand on my arm.   It was the woman I had smiled at earlier- the one who was a bit new to the family, but a familiar face nonetheless.


I stopped and smiled.


“I just wanted to tell you something,” she said.   “Last year when we came to visit, you were the only one who smiled at us and took the time to talk to us.  I just wanted to tell you how much that meant to us.” 

I was a bit speechless.   And then, “Well, you know, that’s what kindergarten teachers DO!” I laughed.



She smiled.  “Well.   I’m not so sure about that.  Probably just the nice ones.  Anyway, thanks again.”



I turned and felt a tear in my eye as I walked to the door. While Sassy’s team and all the parents gave me something glorious today, I was even more grateful that I was able to give a little something to someone else.





Now beat it.   Go make someone else’s day.







(winner for this tonight.  Gotta go mow the lawn.) 


23 comments:

aBroad said...

I am smiling at you.
Tears in my eyes too :)
besitos, C

Lorraine said...

I had a teacher tell me that after back-to-school night (many years ago) about my husband. Both our kids were in the same school different grades so we split up and this teacher told me the next day that she was so nervous but my husband just kept smiling at her and put her at ease. I could have told her that he probably didn't remember a thing she said, but it wouldn't have mattered. It was the friendly face that mattered. Keep smiling.

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

It warms my heart to read things like that! I have been in her shoes before, just hoping for a friendly face and am so grateful to those who did smile and make me feel welcome.

Great post!

Pam

Brian Miller said...

smiles...setting the example in and out of the class room...its Super Vodka Mom...smiles. way to rock that smile...

Ann Imig said...

The smallest kindness can make more of a difference than we'll ever know. Well done, Vodka.

Everyday Goddess said...

we always have the opportunity to be nice.

well done my friend!

LOLA said...

Beautifully written and it brought a tear to my eye too.

Love,
Lola

anymommy said...

Kindness really is contagious and you spread it around like no one else I know. All the good karma in the world to you.

Gigi said...

Thank you for the reminder. I try to remember to put on a smile for strangers....but some days, under the sheer weight of my own troubles, I forget.

MaryBeth said...

I've been on both sides of that coin! I guess once you have been the *NEW* mom and someone smiles at you you never forget it.
Kindergarten is the best garden to grow in!
You rock!
Happy Bitchy Birthday!

Expat mum said...

I am becoming almost manic about being the best person I can be - see, I told you it was manic. There's too much phoney-ness in the world. This has confirmed my belief that one's actions, no matter how small, can sometimes really help another person. (Jeez, I'm really a cynical old bitch, but obviously with a marshmallow heart!)

noexcuses said...

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone's day! You do that so well, not just as a teacher, but also as a writer. I'm always excited to visit your blog...I never know what I will get, but I always get something really good!

Anna See said...

:)This is great!

Mrs. D-Zo said...

A beautiful post.

Joanie said...

What a great story!

By the way, every now and then, if I use my netbook, Babble lets me continue to vote for you. So I voted again today. If all of your 2000+ followers only took the time to vote once, you'd be at the or near the top of the list! Just sayin'

The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful said...

But the question is...were you having a martini when you smiled?

Da Goddess said...

See? I always knew I'd want to run into you somewhere because I knew you'd be the friendly face in the crowd.

beth said...

I am often the awkward parent in the corners of the room and love when there are women like you to help "break the ice".

SkylersDad said...

That is a wonderful story from a wonderful person!

Leslie said...

I just wish more of us lived like you do.

The Empress said...

Yes.

I am grateful to those that go above and beyond.

Too few of you in the world.

Mya Maternity said...

That is so beautiful@

Lynn MacDonald said...

aww...i don't think it's what kindergarten teachers do. It's what you do and possibly it's WHY you became a kindergarten teacher.

This was heartwarming. I do this too! I always thought it was because i'm a southerner.