My son is one of the Commissioners of Religion at his school. Basically, this means that he and the other Commissioner lead the school's daily prayer at the Morning Assembly. It's quite nice to hear him each morning stumbling over strange words, or mumbling through the Lord's Prayer, or proclaiming a prayer with confidence, depending on how much sleep he got the night before or whether he ate more than a few bites of toast that morning. I'm usually one of the parents who walks everyone into school and hangs out until the student body president says "You're all dismissed, have a nice day" and the kids file into their classrooms. The younger ones turn to catch my eye and blow me kisses. The older ones studiously ignore me.
But with the busy-ness of our lives this Spring, instead of walking up to the school each morning, I've been pulling up to the drop off zone, slowing down to 5 mph, opening the side door of the van and tapping the brakes several times until they all sort of fall out in a heap on the sidewalk. By the time their arms and legs are straightened out, I have floored it down the hill and am off to the next task at hand. I have not had time to stop and enjoy the Morning Assembly.
But I have had plenty of time to stress out my kids.
Like the other day when none of them got up in a timely fashion AND I overslept myself AND I couldn't find my keys at the last minute AND I ended up thrashing around the house in tears of frustration that we were going to be late AGAIN and that every moment I couldn't find my keys meant another moment before the sweet relief of dropping everyone off where they needed to be. There were tears and yelling and lots of frustrated, frenzied activity. It got fairly ugly. It was one of those mornings when the silence of having them suddenly out of the car was more of a reproach than a relief: Well, you screwed that one up, mom. Now you'll have to wait 7 hours before you can assess the damage.
The kids missed Morning Assembly that day: we were almost 15 minutes late to school.
But they were on time the next day; I pulled up to school, dropped them off, and drove quickly away to get things done. I missed my son's very special morning prayer.
I got the full report later from a friend: "We prayed for you this morning."
Really? Who's we?
That would be the whole school, when Sam offered the following, for all of the students, teachers and attending parents to take into their hearts and their hands clasped in prayer: "For mothers, so that they forgive themselves when they oversleep."
I'm so glad I missed that one. I don't think the school has ever had a parent perish from embarrassment right there on the school yard, and I'm not keen on being the first.
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At least he's thinking about me. And there's no denying that I can use all the prayers I can get. So thank you, son and school community, for interceding on my behalf and sending up a little prayer for me. Or for those mothers in general who oversleep from time to time. Maybe he didn't mean me.
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