Missed Opportunities

photoAs a mum who works outside our home, there are a few school events that I miss. We try to be there for the ‘big’ occasions (if it’s even possible to choose the ‘big’ ones) but sometimes, for a variety of reasons we simply can’t be. Usually, one of the main reasons is because we didn’t know about the event. No notice from the boys, no notice from the school…nada.

Late Wednesday I decided to take Thursday and Friday off. It was a really hectic few weeks and with summer break starting it would just get busier, so this was going to be some downtime.

Thursday morning after getting the boys off to school I got a call from the school. I’ve gotten past the anxiety of seeing the school’s name on the display as the boys don’t get into trouble and it’s usually Isaiah asking for something or the other. So I answered and here’s the convo:

Sai: “Mom…are you home?”

I hesitated…this was a test and I needed to answer this appropriately. After all today is supposed to be ‘my day’…hey…no judging! Seriously…there’s no right way to answer this question and still have my day’s plans intact.

Me: “Hmmm…why’d you ask?” (this felt like a semi-safe answer)

Sai: “You gotta come to the school…I heard I’m getting an award!”

Me: “What…ok…on my way!”

Sai: “9:30 ok?”

Remember those ‘missed opportunities’ I told you about earlier? No notice before hand…just a call 7 mins before the event. Well, let me tell you, I’ve never gotten dressed so quickly in my life. Practically slid into the school like a child who arrives after the bell, who doesn’t want to be noticed, except I was noticed because my ‘slide’ was anything but graceful. I’ll blame that on my lack of coffee.

The vibe in the gym as the assembly began, was one of pure excitement as the kids were pumped for the last day of school. The principal did a brief intro of Isaiah (and I’m going to paraphrase, because at this time I was in the earlier stages of coffee withdrawal…no coffee yet remember? It’s now 9:37am…sigh):

“Isaiah Wright recently visited South Africa and spent of his time there helping kids in a local orphanage with which his grandfather was involved.  He came back with great stories, photos and memories and we are so happy that he was able to make a difference in another part of the world as part of the Rick Hansen community.”

Cue the applause. The students cheered really loudly for Sai…made me feel he was well loved.

Onto the rest of the assembly…the character awards. This is where each teacher selects a student who embodied the character of the month. Both boys have gotten this before but we only ever see the certificate once it gets home. This month is was optimism. Each teacher’s story was so great. A tear or two might have been shed, because if there are more students in the world like these, we’re in a great place! It’s Isaiah’s teacher’s turn:

“The student that I selected is a leader in and out of the classroom. He works well with others and is well respected by teachers and students alike. He always has a smile on his face and it willing to help at all times. And every morning without fail he comes into the class and greets me with “Hello Mr Macris, how are you today?””

Despite the looming coffee coma, in my heart I felt so proud on behalf of whoever this kid’s parents were. Like seriously…this kid is golden, if I could only get Sai to say ‘Good Morning’ to me before I say ‘Good morning’ I’d be happy. Then Mr. Macris continues…

“I’d like to give this certificate to Isaiah Wright.”

Cue cheers and applause.

What the what?! Neurons are trying to be fired up and the only thing that seems to be going smoothly is this conversation in my head:

”Tricia you need to take a picture”

“ But I’m not sure where the camera button is now”

“Just get up and start walking to the front”

“Gosh I’m always taking pictures why can’t I find this app!”

App found, picture snapped. Smiles all around and a few comments from teachers “That’s a real problem kid you’ve got there huh?”, “Get another picture mom”, “Happy for you mom”.

Wow…that was unexpected, not because he isn’t a GREAT kid (he really is…most of the time…but then again, I’m not great 100% of the time either), but because you never really know how your kids are when they’re away from you. I’m sure parents everywhere are nodding in agreement (or hopefully they are and this isn’t a ‘Tricia-only issue’).

To top off the morning, the JK kids sang ‘Tomorrow” from Annie…which just happens to be one of my favourite movies ever!

It was the perfect morning…for an almost-missed opportunity.

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