On any given day, the life of a single mom who goes to school, has multiple careers going at once, and a son who plays baseball all year often leaves me feeling winded at the end of the day. When curveballs are thrown at my schedule, I do what is possible to meet all commitments and responsibilities, like most responsible people do.
This week was a whirl of commitments, meetings, quizzes, deadlines, and to make it more challenging on Wednesday evening, Open House was scheduled at my son’s school. However, that was not the only thing on the schedule; the little league Pinto Dodgers Teal team was scheduled to play the Washington Nationals at the same time as my son’s Open House.
My son plays on the Dodger Teal team, and this was one important game to him, as this game would break the teams’ one loss/one win record against each other. Both teams have a tie record with the league.
As much as my son wanted to be at his warm up before the game and at the game on time, he wanted me to be at his open house. He has been working so hard all year, climbing up reading levels, recently earning student of the month recognition, and was proud to showcase his work. He wanted us to be at both places. I am sure a family with two parents in household would somehow maneuver a way to be present at both events at the same. But in my home, it’s a ‘Mom do it all’ kinda show. Don’t get me wrong, I have a mom, daughter, niece, and sister who help when it’s possible, but sometimes I just have to figure it out on my own.
This little boy LOVES school, he is challenged daily. He is not the wittiest kid in the classroom, but he does give his best effort every single day. I know this. I see it when we do homework and when he reads to me. His teacher confirms this frequently as well. He is vocal about his goals, which is something we practice at home. He wants to be at the top of the class, he wants to earn all 4’s on his report card. I have no doubt he will get there, so long as the passion for learning continues to stay alive and so long as he has the right support at school as well at home.
This little boy has the same LOVE for baseball, he is coachable and sees every practice session as an opportunity to improve. He is also not the BEST player on the team, but he works hard every time he is on the field. He went from playing outfield to short stop and is now the closing pitcher. He has improved significantly since he was four and plays on our city’s All-Star team.
On Wednesday afternoon before the open house and the game started, I sat and thought about how our children learn from what they see. They learn priorities from their role models. They learn good habits from those around them, and they can also pick up bad habits real quick. While my son and I ate a late lunch, he asked how I was going to be at two places at once that evening. He said both things were important and he wanted to be at both places. I agreed with him, they were important. I proposed the following to him, I’d take him to the park on time for warm ups, I’d talk to his coaches about me leaving for about an hour to attend open house, and I would ask my adult niece to come watch him at the park for a bit while I was gone. I would attend open house and see all the work he had done thus far and then come back to the park to catch the game. He liked my idea, and this is exactly what I did. The evening worked out perfectly.
My commitment to my son is to model the importance of education every day, some way somehow. If I had not attended the open house and instead only attended his baseball game, this would have sent mixed signals about priorities.
Open house was so great, all his work was nicely displayed all over the classroom, and his teacher was pleased to see me there, even though my son did not make it. She was able to share that he read a total of 352 minutes at home in the course of 14 days in the recent read-a-thon the school held. She also stated that his progress had been consistent, which is something that I should be proud of. The school also had a build a stuffed animal fundraiser which was pretty neat. I was able to take home a Husky bear with me.
Once I got to the park, the game had just started, and it was an intense game. It ended 3-3, a tied game, which means the record remains tie until play off time.
I shared this story to remind parents that our children learn from us and those around us. If we put education as top priority when they are small and are consistent about the focus on it, the children will know how important it is. Show up at your children’s school, ask for help when you need to, your children will see that their education is important to you, and it is likely that they will be motivated to keep giving their best effort. For all you MLB/Dodger fans, keep this in mind during baseball season!
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