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Challenge: Back to School

The Best Reason To Be a "Room Mom"

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When my middle son was in Kindergarten I was able to spend quite a bit of time in his classroom, volunteering. My son's teacher greeted me with a wide, cheery smile every time I entered the room. Then, the sounds of many small voices saying my name, like my own little cheering section. It felt nice to be needed and welcomed by them all. I quickly found myself sitting in a too-small-for-me chair as I helped the children with bead crafts, gingerbread houses and tools to help them learn. My son was elated to have me there since he is a child who likes having me in the same room with him. However, it was interesting to see how many children also wanted my attention while I was there.

By the time the school year was over, I knew all the children's names and I felt like part of the class. It was great to get to know all the of the kids that my son went to school with, even if just a little bit. We bonded over short, cute conversations and glue sticks.

There was one little boy who was especially needy, always asking me a question or requesting some sort of help while I was at his table. Many times, if I left his station he would be looking for me or come seek me out. I helped him with a small project the first day I came into the class as "Ms. Alguire" and from then on he was my little friend. I would look to make sure he was there when I returned to help out in the class and his sweet, wide smile would spread across his face. There were a few other children that I felt a special connection with as well, but for some reason this little guy captured my heart the most.

One day when I was there to see one of the kids' programs, I noticed he looked extra tired and was not as smiley and excited as usual. I asked the teacher if everything was alright and without going into detail, she replied that some things were going on at home. My heart sank. I wanted life to be good for him, partly because from the first day I met him, I knew his life was not that way at all. His shoes were falling apart. His shirt had a hole or two. I could tell there was more than an instant connection for his need to be close to me. He felt mother vibes radiate out of me. He saw how I interacted with my own son and the other kids. He wanted what I was doling out - extra care and support.

After the kids sang their songs, I went up to him and talked to him for a bit and told him I was so glad to see him and what a great job he did. The smile on his face was enough proof that those words were what he needed. He didn't necessarily need new shoes or someone to ask him what was going on. He just needed encouragement. In that moment, I wanted to adopt him but I knew that was not even remotely a possibility. I wanted to wrap my arms around him and hug him until he felt all the love he was probably lacking. Instead I lightly touched his shoulder and told him how glad I was that we were friends.

I am not exactly sure what was going on with this little boy and after Kindergarten was over I never saw him again since my son moved to a different school. I hope that I was able to provide some light and encouragement in his life and that others have done so for him as well. He definitely left an impression on me, as did those days in the classroom full of little children.

When I signed on to be a "room mom" I assumed I would simply be there to help the teacher and make my son happy. I had no idea it would open up relationships with the other children. I certainly did not know that it would help me make other six-year old friends and make my heart grow for them. I am so thankful that it did.

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