Sunday, May 11, 2008

Remembering My Mother (and hearing her words come out of my mouth!)

My mother died in 1998, so Mother's Day brings me a lot of memories. My family had ten kids, and because I was the oldest I had frequent opportunities to practice mothering, and for years I said I was never going to have kids myself. Then when I was old enough to realize how much kids can add to your life, circumstances never did cooperate for me to be a mother. Instead I became a teacher, a job where you get to do some of the most intense part-time mothering imaginable.

So many things I learned from my own mother helped make me an effective teacher, and I often make comments to students and hear my mother's words coming out of my mouth! This week we made Mother's Day presents in school, framed poems with the word M-O-T-H-E-R and a word describing the student's mother for each letter. When I came back to my desk after lunch that day, I found this poem a student had written for me. I loved sharing these kinds of things with my mother when she was alive, so I decided to post the poem today in memory of her.


Thanks to Jerrika, who's the kind of student any teacher would just adore. I loved the poem and appreciate her letting me share it here. Happy Mother's Day also to my lovely stepmother Norma, and all the other mothers who are being honored around the world.
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21 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That is perfectly wonderful and grand!
It really startled me the first time I heard my mom's words coming out of my mouth and then again when I caught sight of myself in a mirror moving just like I remember her moving.
Have a lovely day.

Laura said...

All the children whose lives you touch have benefited from your teaching and "mothering". You are one of the best teachers I've seen. You treat the students with dignity and have enriched their lives with your love, creativity, and intelligence. Happy Mother's Day to a mother of many hundreds.

rand said...

I love the poem. And yes, we did win the lottery in the Mother department. She made everybody know that they matter. Everybody. That is a great gift to give.

Nupur said...

What a sweet. touching poem. School teachers really are moms away from home. I adored and worshipped my teachers as a kid and I still talk about them in the most reverent terms.
Here's to the kind, awesome and loving Kalyn!

Scott & Jenna said...

Wow! Jerrika's sweet message made me cry. I believe that my children's teachers are their other mothers. THank you.

Peter M said...

A wonderful entry in the memory of your mom and I'm sure you're recognized as a wonderful teacher (not the easiest job) and as Jerrika wrote to you, you're appreciated!

Sue said...

Kalyn that is one of the most endearing things I have read all day.

Kalyn said...

Thanks everyone, for all the nice thoughts. I'm glad Tanna has reassured me that I'm not the only one who is starting to talk like their mother.

I do think it's true that there is a lot of mothering involved in being a good teacher, at least at the elementary school level. Laura, the second commenter, is one of my friends from school, and she's one of the best teachers around!

SusanV said...

Kalyn, I also sometimes speak my mother's words, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. I think it's one of the ways that mothers live on in their children, and I'm sure your students will also carry your words in their hearts and heads. Thank you for sharing the poem and your memories with us.

Sara said...

What a sweet poem! You are so lucky to work with such great kids.

Ilva said...

That poem tells it all! It's wonderful and I agree with every word of it!

noobcook said...

This is so sweet :)

Dhanggit said...

your post touched me so much! its too bad to be far away from my mom who is sick and i couldn't even celebrate this day with her. when i gave birth last year that's the only time i realised the real sacrifices she has done for me and my other sisters. i even love her more. and on being a teacher, i believe this is one of the most important profession in our society. in my country a lot of teachers end up single for the rest of their lives sacrificing too much for their students! i have great admiration for dedicated people like you..mother's day is for all the women who give their heart and soul without waiting for anything in return..my warmes kisses goes to you kalyn!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

What a wonderfully sweet gift! It is true that kids certainly see teachers as parental figures and I am sure there are many who are thankful to have you in their lives!

Cate said...

What a sweet poem for you.

Arundathi said...

Can't believe it, but I can't stop dabbing my eyes after reading that - and I'm not one who cries at all! That was just beautiful.

Hats off to teachers - they shape our thinking when we are young - and the people we run to when we need guidance and comfort.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

such nice words - a family of ten DOES sound rather large!

Dani said...

Oh that is beautiful.
Mother's Day is always bittersweet when you lose your own mother .I lost mine in 2000 before I became a mother myself and I always struggle with the mixed emotions.

You're obviously a wonderful teacher Kalyn to evoke such a beautiful poem.

katiez said...

Awwwww! That's so sweet!

kweenmama said...

I am Jerrika's aunt (can I say that she got her writing ability from me? ;-)). My sister posted the link to your blog on our family website. The poem is a fitting tribute to a great teacher. You should pat yourself on the back!

Kalyn said...

Thanks, and how fun hearing from Jerrika's Aunt. I also had Chandler and Maddie in my class. What a great bunch of kids in that family!

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