Week one of third trimester down, and I pulled into my apartment complex and parked. With my Friday after school coffee in hand, I balanced my weekend work on my hip and opened my mailbox. A tiny blue envelope poked out from under the mountain of grocery advertisements. My mom's name was carefully printed in the upper left hand corner. I slipped it into my purse, and climbed the stairs quickly.
My mother is a fiercely intelligent and kind woman. The nature with which she approaches the world is one that I both admire and continually strive to embody myself.
She's also a teacher, and a pretty great one. Growing up, I would often find her sitting on the living room floor with individual student learning plans covering the carpet and humming the songs her preschoolers would memorize over their year together. Her excitement for her classroom is palpable. Chickens are hatched in an incubator each year. Pumpkin guts are explored. Children's stories, quite literally, come life.
Complaints rarely leave her lips, and the language she uses when she speaks of others always acknowledges that all people are trying to be better versions of themselves.
I think about her often as I am settling into my teacher self. I hear her words leave my mouth when I direct students to put their belongings away. Her tone and volume echo in my own.
My thoughts shift to her when I walk into a conversation that tears something or somebody down, rather than builds. Years of observing her tact guide me to excusing myself quietly and undetected.
I carry her heart in my own, and that's a pretty incredible card I was dealt.
Her card sits next to me now as I look forward to the weekend. She sends her love (and a Jimmy John's gift card).
I will call her soon and thank her, as always, for everything.