A few weeks ago I left my 4th grade daughter’s teacher a phone message. I was nervous, still, and hoped she would not think I was a bother. “Hello, Mrs. Teacher. While we do have a doctor appointment scheduled, I found out today my daughter was only eating Pop Tarts in the morning and I’m going to start making breakfast with a protein at home in the mornings. You don’t have to call back but if you could let me know in a couple weeks how that’s going? That would be great.”

A nudge under a month later? I haven’t heard anything and don’t know if things are improving. Sure, I’m disappointed. I thought doing everything I was supposed to as a parent would matter, I guess.

I wish my immediate reaction to being out of eggs this morning wasn’t, “Oh well, it’s not like it matters.”

I am so tired.

My husband is forgetful and it’s my responsibility to make sure he eats and makes his own lists and gets things around our home done. Finances and homekeeping is my responsibility and I make my own lists and shopping lists and meal plans. I sprinkle some parenting fairy dust and make the children giddy with delight when I ask them for snack requests.

Making everyone feel special and taken care of is just another item on the to-do list.

Summer is just a few weeks away.

It can’t come soon enough. I am so tired and need to recuperate from moving and starting a new school. I want a do-over where all the children in the class are new and the teacher doesn’t know my daughter.

The woman who teaches my child is an absolutely lovely person. She is gentle and kind and has actual love for the children in her care.

As a mother? It is just another “be careful what you wish for” lesson. Kindness does not automatically pay close attention. Love does not have to be supportive.

I wish all the teachers she has ever had understood how much she wants to be a joy in the classroom. How much she wants to be a student that excels.

Every new year at school is like a nine-month-long relationship. I’m the watchful mother-in-law, making sure my daughter is being treated well by this new person she’s spending all her time with. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m angry about it, mostly I spend my year trying to get through it.

Maybe that day will come someday where she is understood and appreciated and is a joy to a teacher’s life and classroom. Until that time? She will always have her most important teachers giving her a hug and reminding her that she really is a joy.

Teachers are people. It’s both a blessing and a curse for us parents, who don’t know if a complaint comes on the heels of a bad day or a pet peeve from childhood. Remembering that teachers are people, however, and not expecting more? It helps me sleep at night.

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