My post today was inspired by Gutsy Writer.  She is trying to decide whether to send her son to military school. My daughter attended an all girls private boarding school/day  high school and forged some wonderful friendships while she was there. She also got an exceptional education. While many girls were boarders from all over the United States, my daughter was a day student. We were lucky to be able to afford the tuition as a day student. The tuition for a boarding student would have been impossible for us financially.  What made us decide on a private school? In ninth grade, my daughter was a cheerleader in the public high school she was attending. She was a straight A honor student but we became concerned about some of the influences she was being exposed to. For that reason, we made the decision to put her in private school and have never regretted it. But that isn't really what this post is about.


While I was reading Gutsy Writer's post today, I remembered a young lady from New York city who  was in my daughter's high school class. She was a boarder and was just a little waif of a thing. Like my daughter, this young lady is an only child. Unlike my daughter, this girl came from a very wealthy family. Whenever my daughter attended banquets, ceremonies, or any other school function where parents could attend, hers were always nowhere to be seen. Her mother was very involved in social and community affairs and according to the girl, always had something else to attend or somewhere else to be. Her father's business evidently took him all over the world. I took this girl under my wing and always invited her to sit with us whenever we proudly attended something at my daughter's school. I could tell the girl really appreciated it but I also saw the wistful sad expression in her eyes when she would explain again and again why her parents couldn't attend.

I wondered if I would ever meet these phantom parents but finally, after three years, they showed up the night before graduation. The mother was very fidgety at a dinner honoring the graduates and excused herself early to make some phone calls. I heard the girl urge her Mom to stay but she insisted that she really needed to get back to the hotel to take care of some things. My heart went out to that poor girl as I saw the disappointment written all over her face.

When I got home, that young girl was on my heart. After a couple of days, I dug up a story by an unknown author that I had in a file at school and I mailed it to those parents. The story is by an unknown author.
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While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench  near a playground. "That's my son over there" she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. "He's a fine looking boy," the man said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue sweater." Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son "What do you say we go,  son?"

The boy pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes?" The man nodded and the boy continued swinging.

Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. "Time to go now?" Again, the boy pleaded, "Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes." The man smiled and said "Ok".

"My, you certainly are a patient father" the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, "My older son was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with him and now I would give anything to have just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with my younger son. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch him play."
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If you read my last post, you already know that I am not always sensible. I attached a note, unsigned of course ( I am a wimp) telling the parents how many times I saw the hurt in their daughter's eyes at all the functions they missed the last three years because they didn't have time. I asked them to read the story by the unknown author. Did they read it? Who knows? I sure hope so.

As a teacher and a parent, I love to look at the blogs of young parents who obviously take great joy in their children. I share the joy that I see in the faces of my students' parents who obviously love and cherish their children.  Isn't it a shame that all parents don't realize what a gift they've been given!!!!

40 comments

  1. Andrea // April 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

    Great post! Hope you are having a great week. Know I have been and will continue to pray for you. I am confident GOD is using you far beyond that which you comprehend at this time....or will ever know.
    Hugs, andrea

  2. Tropical Mum // April 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

    Thanks for posting that. It is a good reminder when we are so busy to stop and appreciate our little ones. This time is so fleeting.

    I am guilty of forgetting this from time to time. Today I will take my boy to the park after school. It's been a while since we've been.

    Thanks again.

    Shelly

  3. Adrienne // April 12, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

    This is such a beautiful post...I have to work no way around it but I save every single day of my vacation which I get to break into hours thank goodness so I can be with my buggy ....His dad left me for someone else ...she has kids she doesn't have custody of and so his dad has adopted her ways...My son literally hit the kid lotto because they came to a music performance the other night...I cry every weekend he is there. I still check on him in the middle of every night... I will never get those parents... never

  4. Bits-n-Pieces // April 12, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

    It breaks my heart to see my students not have the parental support they so desperately deserve and need. And when I take off for an hour to attend one of my own children's programs or honor roll assemblies, some of my students cannot believe that I'm actually going. It's a foreign concept to them. Bless their hearts...they just cannot believe that some parents do that.

    btw..I just now found the Follow button for your blog. I'd added you to my list of blogs I follow, but couldn't find the actual "follow" button on your's...til now! Got it tho! :)

  5. From Tracie // April 12, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

    What a great post!

    It is so sad to think of all the moments those parents missed in their daughter's life.

    Makes me want to hug my daughter a little tighter tomorrow and play that "just one more" game of Aggravation with her.

  6. Ms. Anthropy // April 12, 2010 at 11:42 PM  

    Hope they saw the light. You know, the same could be said for many parents, even when they haven't lost a child. Some of them seem so absorbed in their own selfishness, the children become orphans, by default. Touching post.

  7. GutsyWriter // April 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM  

    Thank you so much for this post. I love what you did for this girl and also am honored that you linked to my blog. As you may know, our family moved to a third world country, Belize, to take our oldest son away from some bad choices and to show our kids how other kids live in this world. They learned so much from seeing how other kids live. The best education is experiencing life. Thanks.

  8. Over Yonder // April 13, 2010 at 12:20 AM  

    I just do not understand a parent being like that. I am not perfect...but it took me so long to become a parent that I do my "darndest" to appreciate every moment.

  9. Bernie // April 13, 2010 at 12:42 AM  

    Let's pray they did read the story and learn the lesson, they were so blessed........:-) Hugs

  10. Tree // April 13, 2010 at 12:48 AM  

    What a beautiful story, and I have to commend you for sending that to the girls parents. Whether it did any good or not, at least it had to make them think. We haven't had a car in quite some time (long story), but we still try our best to get to ALL of our kids concerts, plays, open houses, bus trips, etc.....as much as possible with me working and the hubby just having surgery. It only takes a few minutes of quality time to make your children appreciate you.

    P.S. I'm working on your button. LOL

  11. Tracie // April 13, 2010 at 6:07 AM  

    Yes, it is a shame. We only get them for such a short period of time. Sometimes it's hard to prioritize correctly.

    Hope you are having a great week!

  12. RosieP // April 13, 2010 at 7:18 AM  

    What a great post, very thought provoking.

    Hugs RosieP x

  13. Choices // April 13, 2010 at 9:27 AM  

    So heartwarming, tender, and loving you are.
    A true kindegarten teacher.
    Smiles to you.

  14. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

    Dear Andrea,

    I believe that applies to all of us. We have no idea how God uses us. All we can do is submit to His will. Blessings

  15. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM  

    Tropical Mum,

    Give him a hug for me too, would you? I miss those days when I could take my daughter to the park as a young girl. Blessings

  16. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

    Adrienne,

    One day your husband will regret ignoring his son. Your son will remember who was there for him when he needed someone.

    Blessings!

  17. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

    It really gets to you doesn't it Bits and Pieces. Sometimes, I just want to tell them to wake up and appreciate the gift God has given them. What bothers me even more is seeing the cycle continue with children raising children.

  18. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

    I hope you do Tracie. Its the time we spend with children that matters, not the material things. I have no doubt that the young girl I mentioned would have given anything to have a mother that would play a game of Aggrevation with her.

    I wonder if that society woman's "friends" will be there for her in her old age?

  19. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

    It really bothers me Mrs. A....to see some parents neglect their children like that. I hope they saw the light too.

  20. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:47 AM  

    Gutsy,

    We all learn by doing and experiencing and by example. I hate the think of the example those people set for their daughter.

  21. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

    Over Yonder,

    It is beyond me! I just don't understand it. It certainly made me reach out to the neglected children during the time I spent in the public school. It isn't hard to spot a child that is starving for love and attention.

  22. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:51 AM  

    Dear Bernie,

    They truly were blessed. She was such a lovely young girl but so quiet. Let's pray that they did.

  23. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

    Tree,

    You are such a great Mom. I love to read your blog and see the love you have for your children just ooze from your words. You make time for your kids!!!

    Thank you so much for doing that sweet lady. I am going to pick up a gift card for you as a token of my appeciation. Do you guys like Chic Fil A? MacDonald's?

  24. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

    Having a great week so far Tracie...thanks for asking...except I have lunch duty this week....lol

  25. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM  

    Thanks for your kind words Rosie! Blessings

  26. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 9:56 AM  

    Choices,

    I do love being a kindergarten teacher, that's for sure!

    Blessings my friend

  27. Yellow House Knits // April 13, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

    Oh, I hope her parents took your words to heart. It's amazing what a difference an involved parent can make in the life of his/her kids. Good for you!

  28. Heather // April 13, 2010 at 11:03 AM  

    What a great Post!! I loved it! My stepmom tells me stories of some of the parents of children in her class and I shake my head and say "don't they care?" "Wouldn't they WANT their child to *blah blah*" It's so disheartening to see some of the parents non caring attitudes sometimes.

  29. Theresa Milstein // April 13, 2010 at 3:29 PM  

    It was brave of you to do that, even if you didn't sign your name.

    Years ago, I read The Nanny Diaries. A friend of mine used to be a nanny, and she told me that kids were treated just like in the book. All those "Grovers" stay with me.

    Not only poor children are neglected.

  30. Velvet Over Steel // April 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

    Absolutely Great and needed post! I'm glad you sent that letter and story. Hopefully it helped, but at least you did the 'right thing' and that's what matters most! So sad! Unfortunaely my son's dad is the same way. Our son will ask him to attend something and always say "I'll put it on my calendar in case I have time." Seldom ever does! It breaks my son's heart and mine to see him hurt Again! Thanks for sharing this with us all! I'm sure it will someone, somewhere!!! HUGS, Coreen

  31. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 6:07 PM  

    Yellow House,

    I wish I had been brave enough to say something to her in person.

  32. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 6:08 PM  

    Heather,

    When you think about all of the people who desperately WANT children, it is really disheartening.

  33. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

    Dear Theresa,

    I did not read it. What are grovers?

  34. VKT // April 13, 2010 at 6:11 PM  

    Dear Coreen,

    One day your ex-husband will have to explain to your son why he wasn't there for him. Your son will remember that his Mom loved and cared for him...and was there!

  35. Christa // April 14, 2010 at 12:55 AM  

    I don't understand this at all! My Mother has 7 children ranging in ages 2-23, she works full time and does works part time as a cheerleading coach and volunteers as one as well and she still makes it to MOST of our games, events etc. If you can't bother with your children after their born you shouldn't have any in the first place. Mothers who don't seem too have any maternal instincts bug me!

  36. Tracy // April 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM  

    It is important to spend as much time as possible with the little ones. Soon they will be all grown up.

    In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, boojeebeads.com is having a contest where every teacher in your school can win a free gift! Check out the contest at my link.

  37. VKT // April 17, 2010 at 2:47 AM  

    Me too Christa!!!!

  38. VKT // April 17, 2010 at 2:48 AM  

    I will do that Tracy...thanks!

  39. Marla // April 17, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

    This reminds me of the song, Cats In The Cradle. Parents who do not have time for their children may find their children won't have time for them later on.

    You did a good thing caring for that young girl and by sending the note to her parents. Even if they didn't read it or change, you did what was right.

  40. VKT // April 17, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

    Marla,

    If I had it to do over again, I would have said something to the mother at the dinner. But, unfortunately, I can't. Thanks for your comment sweet lady!