You know, there are mommas out there that truly have a gift of volunteering their time at their children’s schools. They are the moms that help out with the PTO and always sign up to be the Room Mom in the classroom. They are always there with a smile on their face, ready, willing and always giving (sometimes pouring) into their child’s teacher and classroom. When I was a teacher, I loved this momma….but, sadly to say, I’m NOT one of them. I’m confessing for the first time, this is not my gift! And, it became apparently real one morning last year.
Eddie, my middle schooler, walked in the house from the bus stop and grabbed a snack. In between him getting a glass of milk, and some chips, he decided to tell me that he had signed me up to make a breakfast casserole and take it into school the following week for a Christmas party. For a second there, after he said it, I didn’t know how to react. I mean, what part of this child whom I have known for 13 years thought it was okay to sign me up for a breakfast casserole?? Well, I guess I wasn’t alone in my thoughts because my daughter, Paisley, began to laugh out loud. Eddie asked her what was so funny, and this was her exact response, “Eddie, what in the heck were you thinking?? Do you even know mom?? She’s the “donate paper plates, napkins or plastic cups” kinda mom. She’s totally NOT a breakfast casserole mom!” Oh my gosh! I couldn’t believe that my daughter totally said exactly what I was thinking! But besides that, I didn’t know how I felt about being the “paper plate” mom.
In my mind, all I could think of was waking up at 5:00 in the morning, and putting together this casserole, cooking it and then taking it to school at 6:30 am! While I was dreading doing this, I knew there was some momma out there that probably went to sleep in her apron, woke up with freshly applied make-up that miraculously appeared during the night and sang (with perfect pitch) while she made her casserole for her son’s class. Then, I thought of my son seeing my curly frizzy hair wild and crazy in the morning, with my sleepy swollen eyes, sliding around in my slippers with the hole in them cooking his casserole in the dark because I refuse to turn on the lights when it’s that early. And, a little pinch of pain entered my heart as I thought of this. My poor son!
But, honestly, that glimmer of pain passed as quickly as it came. You know, I’m not the breakfast casserole mom right now. I have 3 kids in 3 different schools. I’m doing good if they get fed and to school on time, let alone make food for other people’s kids. It’s okay. There are seasons in everyone’s life. My season right now is the “paper plate” season. But, one day, when my youngest is the only one at home, I may be the “breakfast casserole” momma. And, while I’m still trying to get there, others are in that phase and can pick up the slack where it may be. Moms, we can’t be everything to everybody, but I know what we can do. We can show our families as much love as possible, and we don’t have to do that with a breakfast casserole. We do that with our hearts.