I’m so-and-so’s Mama Bear, but I think you already knew that when I showed up twenty minutes early to “Meet the Teacher” and made a beeline for the front row center seat inside of your impeccable classroom which I was sure to study from the moment I walked in.
Yep, that’s me, being complimentary and trying to be the best I can be, or as some would call it, a “suck up” or “teacher pleaser”.
Let me make a quick note that my child will likely exhibit the same behavior throughout the school year since she luckily took after me and not her once-misbehaving father.
I’m not embarrassed by it; not in the least. However, I’m sensing that I am making you slightly uncomfortable with how much eye contact I am making with you. I apologize, I am a SAHM, and I can be pretty socially awkward, though I am working on that.
I look around me and back at you and can’t help but feel a bit anxious.
Will you like my child?
Will you make her happy and will her level of intelligence and behavior please you?
Does it matter if you like my child?
Absolutely, because if you don’t enjoy her, well then what does that say about how I have raised her?
Will my child like you? Does she need to?
Do children need to feel content when it comes to who instructs them inside of the daunting walls of an elementary school? I think it matters. I think it matters a lot.
How will my child compare to the other students? Will she be more advanced or falling behind them? Will that you cause you frustration or more work? My worry regarding such will undoubtedly cause me unnecessary mental turmoil and my goodness, will I accidentally pass such anxiety on to my impressionable child?
Do all these questions and concerns I have, as well as my desire to closely align myself with you upon our first interaction, make me a crazy helicopter parent or just an extraordinarily loving and doting mother?
Hmm. I guess the answer to that depends on who you ask.
Luckily for me, you understand parents like me, and in fact, you kind of secretly appreciate us.
While we can be somewhat overbearing and annoying, you are grateful that we care so much about our child and are fully invested in their education.
Far too often you run into parents who are quite the opposite of me — aloof, disengaged, distracted, and well, a little bit self-absorbed. You know that those parents mean well too, they are just busy, and that is not a knock against them. Still, you hold a special place in your heart for those parents and their offspring who make it their daily work to be an active and attentive part of the school day which you work immensely hard to ensure is full of extreme learning and growth.
Parents and teachers are both the most instrumental adults in the lives of children. When someone like you and someone like me can come together in the name of a fifteen, ten, seven, or four-year-old, or even a toddler, we are creating a united support system that is unconditional despite our child’s environment.
As I walk out of your classroom today, I feel pride, admiration, gratitude, and excitement.
I am proud of myself for my lack of shame when it comes to my interest in my child’s education.
I admire your intelligence, mental and physical stamina and your ability to selflessly give of yourself for the betterment of today’s youth.
I am grateful to you for your willingness to see my child as an unparalleled individual with her own unique needs and to not only tend to her but the other twenty plus students in your care.
Lastly, I am excited. I am eager for my child’s personal development that will take place this year because let me tell you this, her evolvement prompts mine and I have you to thank for that.
Now that I have entirely over-stayed my welcome and took up too much of your time, I will leave your classroom feeling joyful and indebted, and I will spend the rest of this school year exemplifying such for you by aiding you and the class in any way I can.
So-and-So’s Crazy Helicopter Mama