Because Sometimes Mom Misses: A Thank You

things they can't say Rox is a single mother to a 7-year-old superhero and Doctor Who fanatic (okay, he gets it from her!) living in the biggest little city and blogging about her journey here at Unintentionally Brilliant. She has about 5 novels in progress and dreams about completing one before her son goes to high school. Professionally, Rox works as a program coordinator for a university and a freelance editor from home. She loves writing but is terrible at writing about herself in the third person. She hopes you won’t use that against her.

Last month my son had his first performance of first grade. He stood with his classmates and sang several songs around the theme of “on the farm” with a huge smile on his face. It was timed perfectly so I could attend on my lunch break and return to work without missing a beat. The look on his face when I arrived was worth it. I was so happy that I could be there.


This month they had a “poetry picnic” where the children had memorized a poem and would perform it in front of the class. The difference with this performance is that he would be doing it solo. All eyes would be on him. At least until he was done reciting his chosen poem.

The teachers were going to clear the desks out of the classroom and spread picnic blankets on the floor for lunchtime. Each child would stand up, recite his or her poem, and then everyone would enjoy some shared desserts. It sounded like such a fun idea.

Until I realized it was on a day that I wouldn’t be able to sneak away for lunch. There are just some of those days where I have to work at our secondary location and it just doesn’t work out to take a lunch away from the building. This was one of those days.

I didn’t mind that much, at first. I had heard T practice his poem time and again. I knew he had the perfect creepy inflection in his voice to fit the drama of The Deadly Eye by Shel Silverstein.

And then I had to tell him that I would have to miss the performance.
He cried. And cried. And cried. He told me he would be the only one without a parent in the classroom. I told him that was impossible. There would most certainly be other children whose parents wouldn’t be able to make it. He was upset because he would be performing by himself, so it was different from the song fest I had attended before. This was the “only” poetry picnic he would ever have. And I was going to miss it.

I shed some tears as I hugged him tight, reassuring him that I had tried my best and I just wasn’t going to be able to make this one. I hugged until he let go first. And then I told him that I would see if one of the other parents could record his performance so I could see it while I was at work.

That brings me to the thing I “can’t say.” I can’t say it enough. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to the mother who recorded my son’s performance and sent it to me so I could enjoy it while I was at work. Thank you to the parents who regularly (or irregularly) volunteer in the classroom and help out the teachers when they can. I can’t be there for every performance, and I can’t really take time off work to help corral 36 first graders (although, honestly, I’m not sure I would want to).

And thank you to the teachers, who have helped nurture my son’s love for learning and have put up with all of my emails sent after hours because we can’t seem to find a conference time that works for all of us.

I can’t say it enough: THANK YOU.

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  1. says

    What a great thank you!  The parents who volunteer and help support other parents when they can’t be there are amazing!  I bet he was great!
    Heather recently posted..May 2014 GoalsMy Profile

    • says

      It was amazing of her to record the performance for me. And it takes a special someone to teach children, and another type of special to help out. I mean, 36 kids? That’s kind of crazy. Thanks for stopping by Henrietta!

  2. Dina says

    I used to be able to be there for every performance. Now working 2 different jobs I’m hardly there at all. it is nice for other parents who are able to record or take pictures for us. They get over it and learn it’s just the way it is. 

    • says

      Unfortunately my son is super sensitive too, but since I’m a single mom he’s slowly learning that I’m doing the best I can and I’ll attend whatever performances I can. Honestly part of me wishes the school would do more things after 5 for the working parents, but I understand that the teachers have their own schedules. We do the best with what we have. Thanks for stopping by and reading, Robin.
      Roxanne recently posted..Things They Can’t Say {a guest post for @ShellThings}My Profile

  3. says

    love you and the way you love HIM. 
    It’s true, we’ve gotten to some stuff this Kindergarten year and we’ve missed some. I think that in the end what I want the boys to know , beyond everything else, is that we love them. 

    I know your son knows you adore him..

    and he looked SO ADORABLE in his purple suit (I know he and Jacob would get along famously!! Along with Shell’s youngest son too!) 
    Kir recently posted..Just Write: The NukMy Profile

  4. says

    Oh Rox! I’m so glad you got to see it – even if it was via video. I saw my daughter’s lunchtime Christmas performance the same way. And shed more than a few tears over it. But you’re there for him even when you’re not in the same room. He knows that and will appreciate the strong mom he has who does such an amazing job taking care of him.

  5. says

    That’s awesome that a parent sent you the recording!! You did get to see it, just not as initially hoped/expected by your son. :)  Throw my thank-you’s in with yours… I appreciate everyone who helps at the schools too, and I appreciate the awesome teachers.
    Rosey recently posted..School Pictures 2x a YearMy Profile

  6. says

    It is SO hard missing their ‘daytime’ events at school. Sometimes I get soo frustrated with the teacher’s who think that all Mom’s stay at home, or all Mom’s can drop work for a few hours just because they decided they didn’t want to stay a few hours after school so working parents could attend.
    Do I sound bitter? lol. I may be a bit – So I will say I am THANKFUL that I have a Mom who is a wonderful Grandma (aka Nana) who can show up and stand in for me when I can’t be there! 
    Krissy recently posted..Enter to Win an iPad Mini & Boogie Wipes Prize Pack!My Profile

    • says

      I do tend to get bitter about it as well. There are so many more hours in the day they could plan activities so the working-outside-the-home parents can make them. I’m glad you have your mom to stand in for you. It’s great when the children can have at least someone there for them. Thanks Krissy!

  7. says

    I’m so glad I havent encountered this particularly situation yet – mostly because she isn’t in school yet. lol But I know how hard it can be to miss important events as a parent and I know how grateful I feel anytime someone offers to step up in my place. 

    • says

      I wouldn’t be where I am today without my team. I hope I have let them all know how much I love their support. Thank you Janeane.

    • says

      I think that’s lovely that you’ve done that for your friends. I think everyone should have at least one person they can count on to help out like that. It’s so important. On behalf of your friends, THANK YOU. :)