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. 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

  2. That was so amazing! I am so happy that other parent did that for you!
    Veronica recently posted..Yay or Nay To The Pig?My Profile

  3. How very thoughtful of someone to send you the recording! So glad you were able to see your son recite his poem!  School volunteers are certainly a special kind of person.
    Henrietta recently posted..Mother’s Day // Moms who love it ALL #Giveaway!My Profile

    • 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!

  4. 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. 

  5. That is so sad and at the same time it makes me happy that I am a SAHM, so I never have to miss anything. My first grader is super sensitive and would be crushed if I missed anything like that.
    Robin (Masshole Mommy) recently posted..WTF Moments – California StyleMy Profile

    • 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

  6. This speaks to me so much. I want to be there more for my son, but I do work outside the home. I sometimes wish I could be home more so I wouldn’t miss activities like this one. 
    Krystal recently posted..Best Blog Tips from SITS GirlsMy Profile

  7. Thanks for having me again, Shell. I do so enjoy your lovely place to say what I can’t say (enough).
    Roxanne recently posted..Things They Can’t Say {a guest post for @ShellThings}My Profile

  8. He looks so cute! I love his hair and his toothless smile! 
    aimee fauci recently posted..#MyHeroMom — Who Is Your Hero Mom?My Profile

  9. 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

  10. What a sweet post. I’m so glad you were able to still see his performance. 

    He looks adorable in that photo!
    Amber recently posted..What Living With Someone With Autism Taught MeMy Profile

  11. Oh I’m so glad you were able to see the performance and that another parent was able to document it. I bet he did an amazing job.
    Jaime recently posted..10 Things to Smile About (April)My Profile

  12. I completely understand missing some school performances. I’m so happy you were still able to see it after it was recorded by another parent. Yay for that parent! 
    Dianne recently posted..Dreamcatcher’s Anklet Crochet PatternMy Profile

  13. It takes a village to raise a child… but it also takes a village to help keep a mommy sane! We all have to much on our plates. It is amazing when someone can jump in and help out!
    Carly Bellard recently posted..Fast & Gluten-Free Friday: Breaded & Baked ChickenMy Profile

  14. That is fantastic the other mom recorded it for you. Awesome.
    Debbie Denny recently posted..Show and Attraction Listings for a Branson Good Time… Fun Stuff!My Profile

  15. That is just wonderful that the other mom recorded the performance for you! I wish I could help more at my girls’ school, but I’m also thankful for the parents that do!
    Hanan recently posted..A Memorable Gift for Mom, This Mother’s Day! #1in85millionMy Profile

  16. It’s so nice that someone helped you out! I shudder to think about the times that I will end up missing an “important-to-her” event in my daughter’s life, but sometimes, life gets in the way. 
    Autumn recently posted..Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: What’s It Really Like?My Profile

  17. I used to work out of the home. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to be everywhere when you’re in that “typical” workforce.

  18. That’s terrific that another mom thought to record his performance for you. How nice!
    Jenn @ The Rebel Chick recently posted..Family: The Greatest Legacy a Mother Can LeaveMy Profile

  19. Hugs, mama. You are doing your very best! Sounds like you have some awesome support too.
    Jenn recently posted..Five-Layer Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter CheesecakeMy Profile

  20. That was so thoughtful.  I love stories of people stepping up to help others!
    Chrysa recently posted..Nice! $2/1 Ocean Potion Sun Care Coupon = $.03 Money Maker at WalmartMy Profile

  21. 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.

  22. Shel Silverstien… that brings back so many memories! I loved those books as a kid! 
    Jessica (Savory Experiments) recently posted..Ragú Tra-Dish Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Shells #NewTraDishMy Profile

  23. I am so happy that the other parent did that! I am lucky to make all of my son’s stuff and I try to take pictures and videos to send to the other parents. I know I would appreciate it!
    Melissa recently posted..New Kid’s Show: Doozers on Hulu Plus {Giveaway} #DoozersMy Profile

  24. What a beautiful story! I just love when we all pull together to support each other and our families.
    Keikilani recently posted..We Are Paper Pregnant!My Profile

  25. 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

  26. It’s heartbreaking when you can’t sneak away. But how nice of other moms to support us!
    Christie recently posted..Giveaway Round Up 5-3: 5 Giveaways + 50 more!My Profile

  27. What a cute little boy! And it does break our hearts when we can’t attend our children’s special days. It has happened to me also.
    Joanna Sormunen recently posted..His Grace – A Battle Won, book reviewMy Profile

  28. What a cutiepie! Love the story, it’s awesome how parents help each other!

  29. Its great that another parent was able to jump in and help. Sorry you had to miss being there. That had to be rough.
    Chasing Joy recently posted..#FlashbackFriday: Hunt For JoyMy Profile

  30. I’m sure he missed you being there for his performance but that is great someone was able to record it for you.
    Melissa @ This Girl’s Life Blog recently posted..DIY Graphic Pillows For Your HomeMy Profile

  31. That was so thoughtful for another parent to record the performance for you.  I’m sure your presence was missed. but at least you got to see it!
    Amanda Her recently posted..Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Travelers #eBayMobileMy Profile

  32. The schedule juggle can be hard sometimes.  You feel so bad when you have to say no to your kid when it’s something that is truly important to them.  That was really great of the other parent.  We have to help each other out sometimes!
    StacieinAtlanta recently posted..Mother’s Day Spa Gift Basket with DOVE® Dark Chocolate #SharetheDOVEMy Profile

  33. 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

    • 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!

  34. 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. 

  35. I like the fact that you stepped up and said thank you to the other members of the team that are helping your son grow up. All those people you named are part of your team and it seems that you have a good team.
    Janeane Davis recently posted..Work and Home Balance – Encourage Your Employees to Do ItMy Profile

    • 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.

  36. i’m so happy another mom recorded it for you. and you can watch with your son and he can share how he felt.  

    and it’s nice to know because i’ve done pics or recordings  when friends cannot be there :)
    brett recently posted..Little Life Lessons from Mom #KeepGoodGoingMy Profile

    • 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. :)