Between the morning and afternoon rounds of soccer and basketball yesterday, I stopped at the end of the driveway to grab the mail. On the top of the stack was an envelope bearing the school's letterhead, addressed to me in Thing One's scruffy handwriting. Intrigued, I opened it immediately.
Six weeks or so ago, I received a frantic phone call from a friend whose daughter is in Thing One's class. This particular friend tends to get herself more worked up about things than most people might, so I spend a great deal of time talking her off ledges. On this particular occasion, she was upset about a book the homeroom teacher had assigned in the kids' Language Arts class, Sharon Creech's "Walk Two Moons," which she felt contained inappropriate themes for a fifth-grade class based on her daughter's comments. Never having read that book, I asked Thing One to bring his copy home for me to look at, found it to be an outstanding and age-appropriate work (even though it did address difficult 'real-life' situations, particularly pertaining to mothers) and told my friend as much. I didn't have occasion to think about the book again until yesterday.
Inside that envelope from the mail was a letter handwritten to me by my son in his best little-boy cursive, with a cover note from the teacher mentioning that this book had provoked a lot of class discussion about friends, families and mothers. She asked the children to write letters expressing why they appreciate their own mothers. It would have been deeply meaningful anyway, but having read the book myself and felt the emotions along with the kids, I understood just that bit more where the class was coming from with the assignment, and my son's letter hit me like a brick.
Thank you for all of the things you do for me. I really appreciate it. Things like laundry and the food you make and the dishes you do and the people I can have over. I take you for granted, and I shouldn't.
I'm sorry for aggravating you. I don't know what I would do without you. Thank you for making me happy and making me who I am and accepting me for who I am. There isn't any other mom out there like you. One last thank you to the greatest mom in the world.
When he got home I gave him the biggest hug in the world and told him that I would be keeping his letter forever. He smiled and said that his teacher told them that all their mothers would say that.
She's a mother too, after all.