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Be Kind - It's The End Of The Year, And I'm Everywhere

Updated on June 24, 2018
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Mutual Respect

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We Are All Self-Involved, Sometimes

The end of the school year can mean great things for those who we hold nearest to our hearts - our kids.

There's that whole element of change that happens as our kids get ready for the summer and look forward to their next grades in school. In my case, my oldest starts high school in September and my youngest will have the challenges inherent with getting herself out the door to school as she starts Grade 4. It will be very interesting for my youngest in particular, as she will be on her own as she gets ready in the morning and will have to demonstrate great independence in order to get out the door on time. The oldest will have her own challenges as she'll have to be out of bed at least an hour earlier than she's been used to for the last 8 to 10 years of school - never mind the increased work load.

I know my kids are looking forward to hanging out with their friends, perhaps laying low a little bit, and there's get-togethers with their friends that will no doubt be happening in the days and weeks to come. That's as it should be, as childhood is most certainly a time to be embraced and savored.

I'm always struck by the kindness of parents who organize nice things for their children to experience. It doesn't matter if the parents have planned an event at the local trampoline park, or have allowed their kids to invite their friends over for games and pizza and my kids are part of that mix; I'm always grateful for the consideration other families have shown to my kids, and also grateful that my own children are very appreciative of the invitations and the times they get to spend with their friends.

Sometimes, it's hard for me not to feel a little envious that there are parents who are able to spend more time doing cool things with their kids, or said parents can go to all their kids' school events, such as award ceremonies and the like. I've chosen a profession where balance with parenthood can sometimes be a significant challenge, and I love my job dearly. I love getting to know kids, and I love being able to see that light of understanding in their eyes once they've finally "gotten" something or once they've realized that they aren't alone in how they're thinking or feeling.

Mine is a job where, from time to time at least, my ability to be a mom and go to school events where my kids might figure into the mix and my role as a teacher collide. This collision generally means that I simply can't be involved in my children's school events as the other moms and dads because I might be otherwise committed in my own school. There are times when, try as we might to be present and involved for our kids' big school moments, we simply can't be there for pictures in their big moments, or we can't watch them sing or perform, just because that's the nature of the beast when you choose teaching as your line of work.

We try to have our friends keep us on top of what we might miss, and ask them to serve as our backup for those events that we may not always make it to.

Booking a day off requires a whole lot of planning, from printing attendance lists to designing substitute teaching plans and having a backup plan in the event there's something that occurs to derail the original set of plans. While if we are ill we can simply call in to an automated system in the morning, we again have to spend a fair bit of time planning and ensuring that our kids - the ones that don't live in our house - are planned for so their education can continue uninterrupted, even for 24 hours.

I know it must be aggravating for parents who come up with something cool that involves their kids and mine when I can't always just race out the door and be there for whatever "showtime" there might be. I do my damnedest, sure, but things don't always work out the way I'd like simply because that's just human nature. If life ran on a smooth road, how boring would that be?

So, while I scramble my way to the end of the year, please understand - I'm trying to stay on top of timetables and still be an active presence in the big events in my kids' lives.

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