I just glanced in the mirror and it’s not looking pretty. This ill-fitting shirt accentuates my love of sugar, my makeup-free skin is blotchy and my lackluster hair is hanging limp around my tired face. It would be tempting to pull myself together before running to pick up my son from kindergarten, but thanks to you I don’t have to.
You have seen me twice a day for the past nine months. And lets face it, I have looked worse and so have you.
We’ve paraded into school in jammies, faded yoga pants, sweaty workout gear and stained t-shirts. Our hair has been a steady stream of pony tails, baseball hats and messy buns. I can’t think of any other time in my life where I let so many people see me in such a state of disarray. And you never judged me for it.
But more significantly, you became part of the very fabric of my child’s school experience. And mine.
You smiled empathetically while I peeled my wailing son from my leg day after day at drop off. You pretended not to notice that time we had to duck into the bathroom for a quick wardrobe change after a potty accident. And you didn’t stare when he showed up for school looking like something I found in the back alley. I did the same for you. And we developed a silent sisterhood over all of it, didn’t we?
We only had a few minutes each day to chat, but its funny how a year’s worth of small talk can add up.
Standing in the hallway, we swapped stories of nightmarish mornings and our kids’ classroom faux pas. We consoled each other over stomach flu and celebrated lost teeth. We laughed ourselves silly over our children’s antics. We cheered each other on when fatigue seeped into our bones and hugged each other gently when tears of frustration fell. And with encouraging smiles, we wished each-other well every single day as we herded our children in and out of school.
You are an amazing and talented group of women. I sure wish we’d have had time to get together for coffee dates or mom’s nights outside of school. But we were all pretty worn out what with parenting a gaggle of children – let alone the fifty other things we all do in a given day. So we all get grace on this.
As the year comes to a close, I am reminded of how much it’s meant to share a piece of each school day with you. I will miss seeing your children’s faces light up when they see you at the end of a school day. I’ll miss admiring you juggle carseats and art projects and backpacks and lunches like a boss. And I will miss witnessing the tenderness and love you shower over your children’s sweet little heads at the start and end of each day.
It was life giving to be reminded twice every day for the past nine months that I am not alone on this parenting journey. You have been an incredible encouragement to me and to my son. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
I know summers can be a time of utter chaos, sweaty kids, skipped baths and late bedtimes. But within that I hope you find rest, recuperation and much laughter. You’ve earned it.