"Please give this your utmost attention and return.”
Thus began another year of back-to-school forms. And this year, with all four kids in the school system now, I was somewhat overwhelmed when I began to fill out one duplicated enrollment card after another.
Name. Address. Phone number.
The more I filled out the vital information for my children, the more I realized how I wished I could tell the schools what really was vital about each of my kids. Yes, emergency medical forms serve a purpose, but our kids are so much more than the sum total of their allergies.
So, when I am done filling in emergency phone numbers, I want to tell my five-year-old’s kindergarten teacher something really important about my son. I want to tell her that he is more than ready to go to school this year. As the youngest child, he has done nothing but watch the others go and do and live. It is his turn now and he is thrilled. But his shyness might make you think he’s not ready. Please don’t give up on him. He’s an amazing kid.
And after I have filled out all parental release forms, I want to tell my eight-year-old’s teacher about him. I want to tell her that his heart is beautiful. And I know that because he wears it on his sleeve so often. And this breaks my heart because I know that school kids as well as society in general aren’t always kind to little boys who live by their feelings. Please look out for him. He’s an amazing kid.
And once I have written down what my children are to do in the event the school should ever close early, I want to tell my eleven-year-old daughter’s teachers about her. I want to tell them about my daughter’s dramatic flair. I want to tell them about her great sense of humor and how she loves to make people laugh. As a matter of fact, my daughter would do anything to make a friend happy. And as she dives into adolescence, that absolutely terrifies her mother. Please keep an eye on her. She’s an amazing kid.
And upon completing the student directory form, I want to tell my fourteen-year-old daughter’s teachers a few things. I want to tell them that going off to high school this year was hard, even for my most confident child. I want to tell her teachers that she will most likely never let them know she was nervous at all. No, she will most likely be as easy-going as always. It’s just her nature. She will always smile. Please smile back at her. She’s an amazing kid.
I guess when the very last form is filled out and filed away, and our children have filed into class for another year, we parents have one basic request we would make of their teachers. We are turning over to you our children. May you not just see them as part of your classroom. But may you understand they are part of our hearts.
Please give them your utmost attention. And return.
They are amazing kids.
*Excerpt from The Book of Mom: What Parents Know by Heart, by Tammy Bundy,
published by St. Anthony Messenger Press
(The Bundy Bunch circa 2001)