Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Today was the last day of school and for Haley it was the last day of middle school.  My baby will be going to High School next year.*gasp*

I received a letter inviting me to attend an award ceremony at the school today because my daughter would be receiving an award.  It is not her first award. She comes home with certificates several times a year, but I have never gotten an invitation to witness it. Also since it is the last day of school and she is "graduating" I thought that I would like to go.

I sent a note with Haley to her teacher this morning asking her to call me if Haley was indeed going to attend the ceremony. There have been times in the past that the teacher has told me that Haley would not attend the ceremony and that her award was given to her in class.

I suppose that is OK, but shouldn't she feel the recognition? Shouldn't she hear the applause?

I wanted her to and I wanted to.

The teacher called me and asked me if I had received a letter.  I told her that I had. She said that Haley would certainly be attending the ceremony then and that I could come.

I arrived at the gym and took a seat in the bleachers. The chairs in front were reserved for the 8th grade students.  I had only sat there a few moments when I saw Haley enter the room with her aide. They sat in the very first seat in the front.  I watched as her aide leaned over to her, spoke a bit and then turned and looked up at the bleachers. I knew she was looking for me so I stood up and waved.

She motioned for me to come down.

I walked up to Haley and said "Hi." She looked very confused. Mom isn't supposed to be at school. I gave her a hug and told her that I would be in up the stands. When I got back to my seat Haley's aide pointed to me and I waved. Haley waved too, but I could tell that she didn't see me.

The award assembly was nice. The principal and the teachers were very enthusiastic about the great students that were being recognized. I got teary eyed and choked up several times. When the Citizenship award was announced I felt a little feeling in my stomach that it would be the one for my daughter.

I wanted to remember the nice speech that the principal gave about what made a student a good citizen, but I don't remember it. I remember my daughter's name being called. I watched her walk up with the rest of the kids that also were receiving certificates. I took several pictures. I was so proud. I felt a lot of love toward that principal as she leaned her head on Haley's shoulder and showed her the certificate and the pin that she had earned. All of the kids were allowed to return to their seats and then the principal herself took the time to walk Haley back to hers.

After the ceremony was the 8th grade party. The kids got to go out on the field and have pizza, chips, fruit and cake. I decided to hang out with Haley a little while. I talked with her aide as Haley ate her lunch. They had a DJ playing music and I noticed that the other girl who was "graduating" from life skills was already dancing. Haley wanted to join her. I watched from the side and took pictures. Haley came to me and seemed a bit warm so I started to help her take off her jacket and BAM!

I was hit in the forehead with a football.

I was stunned a moment. Then I looked around to see who had thrown it. It was a pair of boys who had been throwing the ball back and forth for the last ten minutes. We had asked them to move away from the kids who were dancing, but obviously they didn't do it.

I came unhinged. I yelled at them. I told them that they should not be throwing the ball around a crowd of people dancing. I even called them "little shits!" To that one of them replied "You are not supposed to curse at school." I yelled back, "You are not supposed to hit people in the head with footballs!" (My shining moment!)

Haley just stood there wondering what the heck was wrong with her Mom - probably.

I looked around for Haley's aide and she was not to be found. Someone with a walkie-talkie came up to me and asked me how I was. By this time I was shaking. I told her that I had been hit by a football. She said that she could tell, because of the giant red welt in the middle of my forehead. She asked me about the boys and we talked a few minutes. She corralled them and had them sit down. I told her I was looking for Haley's aide and she went to look for her.

Meanwhile Haley joined the other kids and started dancing again.

Her aide came up beside me and I told her that I was going home. On my way out the other teacher asked about Haley and I told her that her aide was with her again. As I left I saw the boys with another teacher.

When I got to my car and started to put my stuff in the trunk I heard the assistant principal calling "Are you Haley's mom?"

"Yes." I said.

He asked me how I was feeling and told me that I should go inside and see the school nurse and fill out an accident report.  I just wanted to go home, but I agreed.  The nurse gave me some ice and a list of symptoms I should be aware of.  A hit like that can cause a concussion.

I really didn't feel that bad. My head hurt and I could tell that I would have a headache. I wanted to go home and rest. And I was emotional, but I had been emotional since the beginning of the ceremony.

Those were all symptoms listed on a poster in the health room.

I started crying and I told the nurse that I hoped the boys wouldn't be in too much trouble. I told her I was really angry when it first happened. She said that it was a normal reaction.

As I walked to the car I realized that today my daughter had earned an award for Citizenship and then I demonstrated a huge lack of Citizenship by yelling at her classmates.

I am not happy with myself at all.

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