My Mothers Day Story : the Teacher and the Blocks
My mother passed away too young and quite some time ago. When I was a teenager through my twenties, we really didn’t get along well. By the time I had graduated from a Masters program and was married, I was determined to mend our relationship, and so, with hard work, I did.
Now, every Mother’s Day, as others go to celebrate with their mothers, I remember mine with some regrets for the years I wasted being upset with her. I wish I had another chance to let her know the ways I truly appreciated her. For Mother’s Day, here’s a true story about the teacher and the blocks that I think really shows how she never doubted me or my abilities, and how she was always on my side.
It goes like this:
When I was in kindergarten, my mother got a call from my teacher. This lady was apparently very concerned about me. “I’m calling you, Mrs. Blackman, because I think there is something wrong with your daughter, Alison. The reason is that she doesn’t like playing with blocks although she will spend a lot of time in the play kitchen. I think she may have a learning disability.”
After trying hard not to laugh, regaining her composure, the mother answered: “Perhaps you haven’t thought this through Mrs. ….My daughter is a very bright girl, and did you know that she has a really beautiful set of blocks at home that she plays with constantly? In fact, she is so creative with them I can hardly pull her away . Having visited your classroom, I can see that yours are not as nice as the ones she has at home so I know that the reason she doesn’t play with them is that she prefers her own. She likes the play kitchen because she .doesn’t have one of those at home. That hardly constitutes a learning disability, Mrs. …it shows a sound choice. I’m not worried about my daughter at all, but I am worried about your judgement.”
Of course I didn’t have any sort of learning disability. I have a very high IQ! I do remember the blocks at school, they were lightweight and beaten up, painted and re-painted in chipped, primary colors. They were dirty and worn, and I didn’t like touching them. I do remember my own blocks. I even remember the day that they were delivered. They arrived as a surprise from my father, in two huge cardboard boxes. These blocks were large, about the size of bricks, silky smooth natural blonde wood almost too large for a young girl to hold with one hand. They were cool to the touch. I used to love to look at the wood grain, sometimes tracking it with my finger. I didn’t have to build anything special with the blocks to enjoy them. Sometimes I just piled them up in unusual patterns, some triangles, some squares, some rectangles. They hardly made a sound when you placed one on top of the other unless you slapped them down. I wish I still had those blocks! I have never forgotten them.
Today, I do my best to never to spend much time in the kitchen!
My mother understood how easy it is easy to judge someone for whom you have little knowledge. She was always on my side even though sometimes, I didn’t realize it. Despite our differences, we really did love one another.