Don't Miss Those Little Opportunities
Last night we got a call we were not expecting. It's not like someone died. It's not like someone was in an accident and badly hurt. It was, in actuality, good news. But, it was like an earthquake hit our little house. Looking back, the WORST PART of the whole thing, I missed a key opportunity with my kids.
Let me set the scene for you. When my daughter started at her current school as a kindergartner, we didn't know who the principal was. We went the entire year, and I had no clue until the last week of school who was at the head of the school. During an awards ceremony, I finally saw from afar whom the district deemed worthy of heading the school. Now, I'm not saying she was awful. I just had no clue who she was. She didn't have any idea what my daughter's name was, or that she even went to that school. She had a friendly, busiensslike rapport with the teachers, but nothing special. She was busy with administrative school stuff, and that was just okay.
The next year, we were blown away. Not right away. A new principal, Mr. Roman, had come to town. He was there during the Welcome to School meet-and-greet, and he shook each and every student and parents' hand. We thought that was nice, if not a bit weird. I mean, who greets EVERY person? Was he trying too hard? His presence continued, however. He was in the halls every morning when the kids got to school, high-fiving them and learning their names. He was at every school function, and learned the names of all the parents. He was very present, and really, obviously cared about the kids and their wellbeing.
The next year, my son started school. Mr. Roman knew all the new kids' names by week two. My kids loved him. We loved him. He was an ever-present figure, there to protect, have fun, run the show, and if needed, discipline with a compassionate hand. He really connected with the students AND the parents.
Year three. Thing are going strong. Mr. Roman is at every event there is for the school. School night at the local fastfood chain? He's there. Assemblies? He's there. Book Fair? He's there. PTA meetings? He's there. He motivated the kids just by being there, and being involved. He died his hair green one day because the school reached their reading challenge. The students (all of them) were involved in duct taping him to the wall in the gym, because they reached their testing goals. He had dance battles with teachers when the class reached a certain number of "Paws" (given for being good). The kids ate this up, and LOVED him.
Then came yesterday.
We had been at a PTA meeting/Book Fair/Dance at the kids' school. I said at one point, "Where is Mr. Roman? He's always here!" As if the earth knew what was coming, a storm developed outside, and the sky wept in torential downpour. Power was out to half the city.
We came home.
We walked in the door, I grabbed a candle so we could see, and my phone rang. I answered it on speaker phone, because I saw it was from their school, and I thought maybe one of the kids left something at the dance.
It was an automated call, and she spoke fast.
Blah, Blah, Blah, Mr. Roman has been voted, blah, blah, blah. The new principal at Loflin will be ....
My daughter and became aware of what was happening at the exact same time. We looked at each other, and both let out a "NOOOOOOO!"
My daughter immediately started sobbing. My son was confused, and didn't grasp what was happening. I had to explain to him that this lovely man, the one who was now a staple in all of our lives, was moving on to a higher position, and he would no longer be at the school.
The tears started to well in his eyes. Do you know how hard it is to comfort somebody, to be strong, when you are feeling the same exact way?
There were many, many tears in the dark, quiet house. I spent a lot of time hugging them, and letting them know that this was so good for Mr. Roman, and I was sure the new principal would be just as good (even though, I know in my heart, there will never be another Mr. Roman).
I missed the boat. WHAT A GREAT TEACHING OPPORTUNITY this would have been for the kids! I could have tied in how Jesus loves each of us, even more than we love Mr. Roman. That He wants better things for our lives, just like we want Mr. Roman to be happy and touch even more people. We could have spent a few moments praying for the transition, the new principal, our broken hearts, and Mr. Roman in his new position.
I know, we will still spend time praying for him and all the newness. But, I should have stopped and comforted my poor little lambs in this way from the very start.
My moral to this story: Don't miss your little opportunities. Good or bad. Take it to God. Come together and pray it out as a family. See what a big impact these little gestures have on your family and your children. "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
By: Amanda Marie, Director of Social Media Marketing