“The boy and I typically talk school at night during tuck in. Because there are still usually back to school tears each night, we try and focus on being grateful and tonight he was grateful for his really nice teacher.
In an effort to drive home how lucky he is I decided to tell him about my teacher in third grade.
We were finally past tears and just chit chatting so I thought he’d enjoy hearing a little about my mean third grade teacher. I mean who wouldn’t?
Apparently I haven’t met my son and his super tender heart.
I said, ‘You’re so lucky to have such a nice teacher. When I was in third grade my teacher didn’t like me much. When my desk would get really messy, she would take my desk in front of the whole room and dump it upside down and make me clean it all back up.’
I thought he’d be shocked or mad on my behalf but nope.
‘That’s just so sad mom. I feel so bad for you, oh no I have to cry again this is terrible.’
And he wept and wept for poor little third grade me.
Be still my heart.
I felt terrible… like the worst comforter ever. Also, I might be getting too used to teenagers. They would have laughed.
So then I started crying too and we both laid there and sobbed about my messy desk and how hard it is to be a third grader.
But then when we had dried our eyes he busted out with this…
‘You know mom, teachers should never be mean like that. It’s so bad. Maybe she didn’t like your look? Like maybe you had a boy hair cut or something? And looked weird? But she shouldn’t care. I wouldn’t care it’s no big deal. People can have any hair they want. You should be nice to them no matter what. Even if they look really bad.’
And yup… I knew just what he was picturing. Not third grade me with my cute long hair, but fifth grade me. The year of the short haircut which we file under things that seemed like a good idea at a time.
I agreed yes sometimes people don’t look their best, but we should always be kind. And cursed the 80’s and all its insane hair trends for the 1000th time.
So to recap tonight at bedtime we learned…
It’s hard to be a third grader.
You can’t sue your teacher for tipping over your desk. Also, you can’t change schools. Not everyone will like you and you just have to deal.
Unfortunate haircuts never die.
You should be nice to people even if you don’t like their look.
Be careful what stories you tell your kid at bedtime because one wrong turn and it can last for hours.
Parenting is an emotional roller coaster.
And never think you have this parenting gig all figured out… because I’m convinced I probably never will.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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