I’m sitting here in a hallway of a school in which I do not teach. It’s the sixth facility I have occupied in the last 7 days that I don’t work in.
This is one of those things they don’t tell you about in those parenting classes.
Kids take you places. You learn things, meet people, and navigate schedules because of kids.
Currently, I’m typing on a smartphone. My son is sitting on the floor of the hallway playing a game and my wife is reading a book. My daughter is playing an instrument, warming up with her ensemble, in preparation for a performance. In case you are wondering, the kids voted and the parents can’t watch. This is middle school. I have already been booted from the warm-up room (by my daughter) because I took a picture. It’s okay. My heart is happy.
This is her turn.
So I sit with my coffee and my family members that haven’t evicted me (yet), and my thoughts. And I am thinking about my parents.
How many schools did they see because of my sister and I? How many miles did they drive? How many times did I playfully reject their hugs and attention? How many times did I beg for food after a competition. And how did they survive all of that without technology?
Currently, the sounds from the warmup room are a conglomeration of classical pieces. The students are doing well and have obviously spent time practicing. My mother would be disappointed that I don’t remember the names of many of the princes because I recognize them from when she would blast them at high volume to get me out of bed in the morning. However, with the cross section of tunes it kind of sounds like when your cassette tape would twist and simultaneously play music from both sides of the tape at the same time.
There are hordes of parents in the hallway- jovial, patient, kind. It makes me think of my parents. They knew (and still know) no strangers. They were happy to lend a hand. Working concession stands, ticket booths, coaching, etc.
I feel as though I can’t say thank you enough. And I can’t.
But the best thing I can do? Is to sit here. Clap. Support. Drive. Show up. And repeat.
Because now it’s my turn. My heart is happy. And I can see why they enjoyed it – even when they jokingly got kicked out of a room.
Parenthood takes you places. Enjoy the ride. But in the meantime, while I sit here, I just want to say, “Thank you, Mom and Dad.” I appreciate you.