When I was in the final year of kindergarten, our teachers made an arrangement to invite the parents and guardians to our classes so that they could spend a whole day with us doing all the activities together. What was unique about this initiative was that instead of inviting them all at the same time, each class would have only one or two guests per day. So, every day during that month, we saw different adult visitors in our classroom.
It was interesting to see how each adult interacted differently with us. They were all kind and caring, but in different ways. Some liked to play with us, some preferred to sit and watch. Some were engaging, and some were shy. There were even a few celebrity-like mothers. These mothers were somehow charismatic, grabbing our attention the moment they arrived and having a blast playing with us.
From my home, my mother was coming. Her visit was scheduled toward the end of the month, and I anxiously waited for the day as I carefully observed other mother visitors in my class.
Shortly before my mother’s visit, my classmate’s mother came to stay with us. My classmate was a pretty girl herself, but her mother was also very pretty. Moreover, she was one of those charismatic mothers. The moment she entered the classroom, she became friends with all the girls in my class, and in the free activity time, all the girls and some boys went to play with her.
As I watched them play a chasing game, I pictured my mother coming to this classroom. She was the total opposite of this girl’s mother. Boyish and practical – that was my mother. I could not imagine her standing in the middle of a large group of girls and laughing loudly.
Finally, the day arrived. My mother came to our class to spend the day with us. When she entered, the room became quiet – a sense of awe – or so I thought. Just as I had imagined, my mother did not receive much attention from girls. When it was a free activity time, nobody asked her to play with them. Though I knew this was going to happen, I still could not hide my disappointment. I wanted my mother to be popular like my friend’s mother.
Since it was odd for me to go and play with my own mother in front of my classmates, I went to play with my friends as usual. After some time, I came back to the room to see what my mother was doing. I was a little worried if she was still sitting on her own.
There in the middle of the room, I saw her playing with a few boys. They were building something with blocks. Her interaction style was the same as at home. Rather than getting too much involved in the play herself, my mother carefully observed what the boys were doing, made comments here and there, and gave them some interesting prompts now and then. They all seemed to be having fun.
As I watched them play, I felt a new emotion mix with the old. I was still sad that my mother was not a celebrity-type, but now I also felt proud that my mother was somebody who could interest some of my friends in a meaningful way.