Tag Archives: Childhood

Why Hello, Mama Tiger

Keeping another person alive, happy, and healthy can sometimes feel like a daunting task!
Keeping another person alive, happy, and healthy can sometimes feel like a daunting task!

Yesterday I got angry. I’m not sure how I reacted on the outside, but inside I was a ferocious beast. I left E in a supervised care area at a business that shall go unnamed and let’s just say she was less than supervised. I came back to her crying as popcorn was pulled from her mouth. Another child had fed her. There were only three children total in the space. She does not have molars and could have choked.

This should not have happened.

In retrospect, everything was fine. She lived. I lived. All good. But the experience got me thinking about the times parents lost their cool with me as a teacher, as well as the times they didn’t. I once had a kid electrocute himself without anyone getting angry, (granted he was in fourth grade and old enough to know better than to stick a paperclip in a socket). I also gave the Heimlich maneuver twice, (again, these kids had the appropriate teeth), but still those parents remained calm.

Maybe it comes with more practice.

Then again, there were all the parents who didn’t keep their cool about everything from grades to having to sit criss-cross-applesauce at the carpet. Oddly, I kind of get it. I used to take it personally, but now I realize they felt their children were in some way threatened. Our basic instinct is to respond emotionally when it comes to protecting our children. If I ever return to the classroom, I will be more understanding.

Speaking of which, teachers really do deserve more credit. They have to keep 30ish kids safe all day while also teaching each child at his or her individual level. That’s a HUGE job. Add in the scrutiny of rightfully-protective parents and WHOA. Talk about pressure. Makes me want to give all the teachers I know a hug, (and a raise).

So, this afternoon, I’m thankful for a lot of things. E is fine. I met my inner Mama Tiger and have a better understanding of both what it means to be a parent and to take care of other people’s kids. Turns out both jobs can be pretty intense. Thank goodness they are also rewarding.

Childhood Again: Ballerinas, Kitties, and Witches

This year, E. is a ballerina and I'm a ballet teacher, default costumes because she outgrew the flower one I had been hiding in a drawer since she was born. So excited to see what costumes she picks for herself.
This year, E. is a ballerina and I am a ballet teacher, default costumes because she outgrew the flower I had been hiding in a drawer since she was born. So excited to see what costumes she picks for herself… I have a feeling there might be a little less pink in our future.

The first Halloween I remember took place 28 years ago. My mom was a gigantic mouse, I was a little, black cat. She held my hand as we maneuvered through a crowded gymnasium full of orange and black balloons. I felt safe and special clinging to her grey fur.

Another Halloween, she dressed up as a witch with a rubber, wart-covered nose and read to my first-grade class. Everyone wanted to know our visitor’s true identity. I told no one. Part of me was not completely convinced she really was my mom beneath all that make-up.

A few years later, instead of trick-or-treating, I attended a Halloween party in another kid’s backyard. Beneath a canopy of little glowing lights and a fog of dry ice, we raced around in near-darkness, bobbed for apples, and reached into magic boxes filled with gooey parts, all while dressed like goblins and princesses.

Halloween is alive again. As I reach back to my childhood for the memories I want to create for E., I realize it is not about pillowcases full of candy. It is about make-believe. Next year I want to start a tradition of backyard parties and better-coordinated family costumes. As an adult, I have never truly understood why other grown-ups get so excited about this holiday, until now. Childhood, again.