When my daughter was in elementary school, her class always made those precious mother’s day cards. Sometimes they even had little plants, handmade coffee mugs or painted plates to accompany them. I am sure there are many moms out there with kitchen drawers or plastic bins filled with these delights from last year or many,many years ago.
My daughter is now in middle school and apparently this tradition stops in the 5th grade. I suppose teachers no longer have time to encourage this; with having to cram so much information into a single year and prepare the children for End-of-Grade testing. Or perhaps, it could be that when children reach their teen-age years, even though they still love their mothers with reckless abandonment; they do not want to exactly trace their hands, cut out flowers or draw hearts on a card in front of their friends. It could also possibly be; they just don’t get the opportunity to create those little treasures anymore.
All of the cards and plants you have received, start to mean so much more when you are a single mother or you suddenly become one. No matter how aware you are in your heart, how much your child loves you, recognition is always twice as sweet. Of course, your child can still make you a card in their room and bring you breakfast in bed. But, it would be nice if they had another option. After all, your child is still eager to celebrate you on this day. However, who will take them shopping for a gift or a card, if you are the only parent in their life? I think children enjoy the process. Almost like shopping for birthday gifts, Christmas presents, etc. They want to be apart of the tradition to.
So I write this mock letter to Middle and High School Principals/Teachers in hopes that the might consider a small change in the curriculum one day out of the year…
Dear School Administrators,
I know a child in middle/high school has so much to learn in such a small amount of time. I also know that you all are doing the very best that you can to make sure that our children can compete and excel in their education and furthermore in their lives. In saying that; I ask that you allow the time-honored tradition of letting the children create things for their mothers for Mother’s Day continue. I know it may seem trivial and how you could have the thought of, ” How can we possibly be able to squeeze another activity into an already packed day”. Nonetheless, I assure you this small gesture will have a massive impact on their lives…forever.
The children at your schools all come from different backgrounds and circumstances. These treasures created by the children for their mothers can make a great difference in the lives of the women who are raising them, if only for a single day. A content mother makes for a happy child.
Now, I know with teenagers comes attitudes, grumbles, impatience, moodiness. So the announcement of a craft that includes glitter, markers, paint, sequins and glue may not illicit a resounding roar of excitement, but just have the teacher place the materials on the table and step back. Watch how silent the room becomes as the children start creating.
Happy Mother’s Day Single Mamas!
P.S. I wrote this article originally when my daughter was in middle school She is now a high school junior graduating with a high school diploma and Associates Degree next year. As, I was reading this article the emotions from so long ago resurfaced. We are now in the midst of college applications and SAT prep and she still found the time to make a Mother’s Day card for me today. Cherish your time mommies; it goes by in a blink of an eye.