You, Mom, are the amazing co-author of the blockbuster book that is your child’s life and the secret of successful moms is one word – planning. A blockbuster doesn’t come out of thin air now does it?
As a mom and teacher, I use the word plans a lot. I make plans. Plans change. My lesson plans are always due and every teacher fiercely guards their planning time. There’s a highly strategic game plan any given Saturday just to get my children to and from their respective activities at warp speed. Plans keep us positively facing the future because they give us a sense of being masters of our fate. Making and having plans means that we are connected to a meaningful purpose in the season we live in. Finally, our plans keep us focused on the best possible outcomes.
My life is pretty much plan-driven 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Plan-making for the week is Sunday night, particularly so I can post lesson plans first thing Monday morning. And, if truth be told, these lesson plans can look pretty clinical on paper. Teachers usually write things like “Students will…” and then fill in the blank on their respective content area. Then, we correlate to the standards and provide references to page numbers, websites, or other resources that we intend to use as part of our plan. Whether it’s long division, the impact of the Great Depression, the solar system, or in my case, preparation of music for a performance, we define fixed points between now and then. And then we wait for our perfect opportunity to set the plan in motion once the students arrive.
This month, Fayette Woman is honoring the “Moms Who Made Us”… which may leave you wondering why on earth I’m writing an article about teacher lesson plans. But the secret is that we, as teachers, know that all the moms of our beloved students have made plans too…much bigger plans. Since your child entered your world, you held them, dreamed with and for them, taught them some of the basics, and sacrificed so much for their happiness and success. You, Mom, are the amazing co-author of the blockbuster book that is your child’s life. And we their teachers, somehow by luck or destiny, get to be in a chapter or three. We honor your child as a precious gift to you and your loved ones, and they are treasures to our classrooms that are filled with learning and discovery. Just as you are raising them to be happy and purpose-driven adults, for a brief moment in time we are teaching them everything we know to help them be their best. You are planning for their success through education, and we are teaching them about success through exploration.
At the core of all this planning is the most sacred motive of all: the child. This child, your child, is this excited, wide-eyed kid who hopefully hasn’t been too jaded by the world’s cynicism that she still can dream. This is the kid who has a vibrant imagination, where Legos really are spaceships and old towels are magician’s capes or a royal sash. This is the kid who took apart your Keurig on the day you really needed coffee, but who knew how to fix your smartphone when the screen wouldn’t come on. This is the kid who finds your old guitar in the garage, watches YouTube videos, and is now writing songs like Taylor Swift did when she was a young teenage girl. This is the kid who excels at school, and you have to pry books from her sleeping hands. Or, the kid who can’t sit still in school because the creativity he hears in his head is simply glorious. This is the kid who programs computers to turn on your alarm system, the kid who powers the powerless toy with two potatoes and some wire, the kid who sees math and definitive logic everywhere in the world, and the kid with athletic prowess who just outplays all the others on the field. This is the kid who is here to teach you more than you will ever teach him or her. Regardless of your kid’s age or size, still when you look in their eyes, you lovingly and fervently believe that they could have more of a chance than you ever did to live happy and fearlessly.
All the moms who made us, in every beautiful and involved way, made plans. After all, true motherhood far surpasses basic biology. Gently, and over time, we find ourselves standing in these footprints and looking to the next generation with hopefulness and optimism. We build upon the lessons we once learned, echo the past with our words, and then make more plans with fingers crossed and a heartfelt prayer. You may even experience a late night (or 17) when you stare at the ceiling, wondering if all your plans mean that you’re doing any of this right. But you are doing great, Moms. Plans that are packaged with love, wrapped in inspiration, and tied with the bow of expectation are the most hallowed and nurturing gifts that we could ever give to a child.