Sending our children off to school can sometimes be a scary, if not uneasy, feeling.
Random, and sometimes terrifying thoughts jumble my mind as I watch the twins board the bus every morning.
*Did they grab their lunches?
*Why was George so sad this morning?
*How is KK doing in class?
*Are they both eating all of their lunch, or did I make another non-eaten lunch this morning?
When I can sense that something isn’t right in the morning, all it takes is me sending a quick text or making a phone call to Mrs. Minney, aka “School Mom.”
“George had tears in his eyes before school today. Can you check on him today?”
“George said he is shaking at school … can you see if he is eating all of his lunch?
“KK was worried about her brother being home sick. Can you please tell her he is OK and will be in school tomorrow?”
These are the conversations that are uploaded into my phone and sent through phone-space to the person who is another “constant” in their lives – Mrs. Minney.
I still don’t technically know her “real” work title at the elementary school – para-professional? Aide? To me, she is simply “School Mom.” She is crazy, awesome and loving rolled into one person.
For all of those times when I am not there to make sure they eat their sandwich; to offer support and a small “You did GREAT;” or to see if they are really sick, I know she is there.
Her heart is worn on her sleeve (much like the snowflake tattoo that reminds her of her father). Even if she is having a bad day, she never has shown any ill-will toward students.
Under her watchful, yet loving motherly eye, she makes sure the students behave in the cafeteria, hallways and classrooms.
She doesn’t raise her voice, but is firm with those students who do not listen.
She doesn’t judge. She adores every single student who walks through the elementary doors.
The beauty of Mrs. Minney is that she isn’t just looking out for the well-being of my kiddos. No, she looks out for every single student and person in the district. There isn’t a staff member, teacher, administrator or custodian she hasn’t touched with her heart.
And today, Mrs. Minney walked through the doors as a para-professional-aide-school-mom one last time.
She is leaving her home-away-from home after accepting a job at title company.
Sure, she will still make an appearance here and there at the schools – after all, her two daughters are still students (she can’t get rid of us that easily).
But that leaves a hole in my life; and in my children’s lives.
Mrs. Minney has left the building.
I am now left with the uneasy, scary feeling of who will be there for my kiddos (outside of their teachers). Who is going to be my person now? Who is going to let me know my kids are OK? And most importantly, who is going to fill her shoes of “School Mom” when I cannot be there?