Wisdom Comes Suddenly

Staff Appreciation Day #5: The Final Frontier

April 24th, 2011 · 5 Comments

We made it!  Or as Sara proclaimed as we climbed into the car Friday evening (in a complete downpour, I might add), “You won Mommy!  You won the prize!”  She was referring to a lovely Thank You given to the Chairwomen at a School Assembly on Friday morning, which meant so much to me.  I didn’t need to be thanked (I was giving thanks after all!), but to have my girls hear my name and see me wave at the school…to see the looks on their faces, it was priceless.  They won’t remember my career.  They won’t remember the years I spent saving lives in hospitals or the clinical trials I conducted all over the world.  So for them to see that a Stay At Home Mom Job can have credibility, and adds value not only to their lives, but to the teachers and friends they hold dear…really, priceless.  My children felt proud of me, and it was an oddly unique and wonderful feeling.

Friday began with a French Pastry breakfast, bright and early.  I was at the school before 7 am, where an entire committee of women had already began setting up.  Did I mention how capable and reliable these parents are?  AMAZING. And on top of the volunteers are the close friends who spent the week popping in and out of the Meeting Center, just offering to help.  Linda and Jen and Cara who made countless flower bouquets on a moment’s notice, and then Linda served burritos to an entire staff while her 4 children patiently played with my 2 girls on iPads (how did we live before iPads?).  Kellie who ran all over the city grabbing last minute items on more than one occasion, and with next to no warning, took little Kelly for a snack after school so I could finish up the last event.  To be surrounded by a community of loving and talented women makes all things possible.

Dave’s origami continued to magically appear, even up to the last day.  The Staff and the students loved every single addition.  By the last afternoon, I’d overheard so many discussions about favorite pieces, that the Administration decided it should stay.

And so for the time being, it will remain.  Our school is full of artwork and projects.  Our hallways are stuffed to the rafters, making any regular day look like a Carnival.  The origami fits into the landscape so seamlessly, that many people thought it might have always been there.

By the last day, this bright yellow cat had become my favorite.  All of the origami had inherent motion, but the cat had attitude as well.

For the afternoon, we ended with an All-American theme.  The teachers started at a Custom Iced Tea Bar.  As you can see here, the proprietor of Espresso to Go, Jason Burke, is assisting in the selection and combination of flavors.  We also had Italian sodas for our non-tea drinkers.  Every single person took a sip, and shouted WOW!  I can’t tell a lie: I had 2, and they were phenomenal (I tried a peach tea, and then a cola/Italian soda/and nutty flavor combination).  I’ve never tasted anything quite like it.  I felt like I was sample tasting in Willy Wonka’s opening room.  If you need a Barista and a coffee bar, iced tea, smoothies, or even a hot food bar, Jason is your man.  He was early, fast, and really fun to work with.  He’s been a part of our Appreciation Week for many years for a good reason: he’s a highlight for everyone.

Our lovely guests then stepped to our last table of the week and picked up a flyer describing their last gift and offering a list of fun things to do in Indianapolis over the summer.  Oh sweet Indiana Summer, we’re a-waitin’ your return.  It’s been a not-so-pleasant Spring thus far, unless you enjoy cold, wet floods.  If you are a cold-blooded reptile, Indiana is pie heaven.

Next to the handouts was a tower of gourmet cupcakes, boxed and ready to go.  Kristin and I staffed the table to give our final thank you’s, hugs, and hand shakes.  It was a really fun final event, despite the thunderstorm raging outside.  I wish you could smell the cupcakes.  I picked them up from Gigi’s Cupcakes in my minivan, and even with the doors closed, you could smell the sugar from outside.

When I got home, I took a hot shower, just to warm up from the chill of the weather.  I came downstairs to the smell of spaghetti and fresh Whole Foods Italian meatballs cooking on the stove and the scent of a large vase of flowers Greg gave me as a congratulation gift.  I can’t remember the last time I’d felt so happy.  After stuffing myself with pasta, I poured a glass of red wine, and fell asleep on a chair next to the fireplace.  It feels so good to work so hard, it really does.  I love throwing myself into a project and seeing what comes of it.  I loved giving thanks to people who have changed the color of my sky.  I loved being a bright spot for the teachers who have opened the world to my children.  I loved representing a pool of parents I respect deeply.  I loved spending a week surrounded by children who cannot stop smiling.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  God has been so good to me, and I feel blessed to share this space with you.  Night after night, as I mustered the energy to manage another event, your comments inspired me to keep going.  I appreciate every last word…my thank you’s to you as well.

Tags: The Girls

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hands Free Mama // Apr 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Beautiful post, Lori. You are such an inspiration on so many levels.

  • 2 Sue // Apr 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

    FANTASTIC JOB LORI!!! You and your large supply of helpers did a wonderful, fantastic, loving, crafty, great and a whole bunch of other words I could go on to mention, job for your childrens teachers/staff. I am sure it will be remembered and appreciated for a very long time. I was happy to see that the origami was staying put. These will be enjoyed by all.
    I have to say, it brought tears to my eyes when I read the part about you coming home to find food, flowers waiting for you. Kudos to Greg!!!
    Sara got it right, You did win, You did get the prize…A wonderful husband and super girls, who will by the way in years to come remember you being up in front of the school, waving and them knowing that was their MOM. No job outside the home can do that.

  • 3 Blessings from a Wildflower // Apr 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Lori, Congratulations!
    I waited all weekend for this post and Lordy the electric went off and on today so much I just kept the PC off…now it’s 11:25PM …and…. The girls,will always remember, How PROUD they were of their MOM.

  • 4 Shayla // Apr 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    You never cease to amaze me! If I ever need to hire someone to assist me in my day job (as an event planner) you will be hired!

  • 5 April Morgan // May 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you so much for the spirit you have brought to our school. The entire week was truly amazing because you enjoyed giving. Keep your heart open!