Free Self Esteem Boost Waiting at a 1st Grade Near You

My funny Valentine

Well, it happened. I finally got the time off of the gig that pays my bills to put in some quality time at my real job.

I made it into the school to be the helper mom for a few hours on Valentine’s Day.

If you have never volunteered in a first grade classroom, I suggest you clear your schedule immediately and find one, any one that will accept a warm body for an hour or two.
There’s no self-esteem boost quite like being the new face on the extra tall body (well, in comparison) around a bunch of 6- and freshly 7-year-olds. They love you, they really love you! And all you have to do is show up with a smile on your face.

Suddenly you are the chief hug-giver, hand-holder, and prime story-listen-to-er (yes, I just made that one up). You are the star of the show.

To be honest, helper mom is a bit of a misnomer. Besides stuffing a few folders and pouring some cups of juice, I don’t really know how much help I was.

Entertainment for the hour may be a better description?

Like a performing monkey, I danced. I compared my own (crooked) teeth to those of 6-year-olds so proud to have the wide gap-toothed grins that make me want to squee at their cuteness. I made appropriately impressed noises over Valentines given and Valentines received.

I basked in the kind of love that made me, the mother who is happy to be “one and done” with my only child, suddenly understand why someone would want to teach a classroom of rowdy 6-year-olds.

I’m not going to say teaching is an easy job. But now I “get” the reward.

It’s like motherhood. But you get to send them home at the end of the day to the rest of us.

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