TJ's school did a wonderful celebration for all the Mom's for Mother's Day. It was a "Mother's Only" event and each Mom was treated to a breakfast of donuts, muffins and OJ served by their child in their classrooms. Each child recited a poem that they wrote to their mother in front of the class. TJ's poem was so sweet. It feels good to be recognized by your child for all the things you do for them. It especially feels good when that recognition is done in public. Leaving TJ's school that morning, I began to worry about the up coming Father's Day Celebration and how TJ would be included in it since it was "father's only"and his father is absent in his life. I thought about the one little boy in TJ's class whose mother did not make it for the celebration and how sad he looked. Since his mother was not there, he recited his poem to all of us. By no means, did I want my child to feel like this for the Father's Day Celebration and I stressed about what I was going to do. I decided that I would talk to TJ after school and get his thoughts on the situation.
2 o'clock couldn't come fast enough and TJ wasn't even in his seat belt before I asked him, "TJ, what do you think about the upcoming Father's Day Celebration? How are you going to participate?" Since I was driving, I couldn't look at his face when he responded but to my surprise he said, "I already talked to Mrs. B about that." "Oh REALLY?" I was surprised!! "Yeah! She said that the assistant principal could come in and sit with me." "Are you okay with that?" I asked him and he responded that he was.
I sent TJ's teacher the following email to discuss TJ's and I's conversation and my thoughts:
I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day and thank you so much for the Mother's Day Celebration. It was beautiful! I wanted to discuss with you the Father's Day Celebration that is planned. I spoke to TJ on Friday to get his thoughts about participating in it. I was surprised when he told me that he had already explained to you that his father is not involved in his life and that his uncle's and grandfather are out of state. He said that you suggested that the assistant principal step in. He said that he was okay with that. I guess I was just more concerned about how he would feel not having his father there and what his participation level would be. I was just wondering if you knew what the children were going to do yet, since a poem or something similar probably wouldn't be the ideal thing for him to do given the situation. I welcome any suggestions that you may have on how we can possibly include him in this celebration.
Thank you and have a wonderful day.
This is her response:
You beat me to the punch by just a day or two. I did speak to TJ and have been working out details since then. It is my intention to be sure that someone is here for him. I have requested that no moms attend, otherwise I would have you come instead. Each year there are a few dads that are unable to attend, unlike the Mother's Day event where there was only one. I want TJ to feel included and comfortable. We will be having donuts and doing a "Lowe's Build & Grow" craft together. It is a little less sentimental than the moms event. :)
I will let you know what comes of this. I am still checking schedules and working out assistance. It is looking like Mr. Barnes will be the one sitting in.
Have a great rest of the day!!
I was amazed at how a situation that I was so worried about, had already been taken care of by my 8 year old. I was worried that he would feel left out and I had even debated not sending him to school that day and the two of us just hanging out. He was able to foresee what may have been an obstacle and went about finding a solution to the problem. I even asked him if he spoke to the teacher privately about his not having a dad and he said that when they were discussing it in class, he raised his hand and told Mrs. B in front of the whole class. Needless to say, he is not self conscious or ashamed of the fact that his father is not in his life and I couldn't be prouder of him! I am glad that my son and I have a relationship that we can talk about everything. He has asked about his father and I explained to him that his father didn't want to be a dad but that doesn't make him any different from anyone else. He is just as special. Just recently he told me that he feels sad that his dad is not around but in the same breath he said, "But I have you, Mom," and yes he does!