Monday, December 17, 2012

The Most Important Appointment of My Day

I arrived home at 11:15 pm on a Sunday night after spending my evening volunteering at a Gillette fundraising event. Come Monday morning, with a workout to get in and a package to ship to arrive in time for Christmas, I decided I wouldn't come in to the office right away, figured I earned a few hours out of the office to get those things done.

Unfortunately I had forgotten that I had scheduled a strategy call for earlier in the day than I remembered, and I was late for the call. They were able to re-schedule it for an hour later, and we had a great discussion.

I had another meeting set for half an hour after that, and got another plan of action worked out.

As I turned back to my computer, my personal phone's reminder chime went off, the one that dings 15 minutes before an event. I looked at my work calendar; hmmm, nothing there.

I looked at the phone. Oh crap. Another commitment, this one across town, and now I only had 15 minutes to make it there. This was the most important meeting of my day, I couldn't miss it. I felt completely out of kilter because of my decision to start my day late, and I just couldn't catch up.

I didn't miss a beat. I grabbed my coat, threw on my winter boots and headed to the parking ramp. I didn't have the number with me to call to let them know I'd be late, just hoped for forgiveness once I arrived.

Miraculously I made it there in record time, only 15 minutes late. I was instantly forgiven by this little face.

It was Marissa's classes' Author's Reading, when all the parents were invited into her classroom to review their portfolio of writing and drawings. Poetry, short stories, biographies, and all the writings they'd been working on all year were included in their' portfolios. I missed her poetry reading, but made it in there in time for the portfolio review, when she carefully extracted each piece of work and read it to me, showing me each and every picture that went with each page.

Her writings were so funny. She started with the assignment that she forgot to complete. "Oh well," she said, "Let's read that one later." 

Then she moved on to the biography where she had to complete sentences to talk about herself. Apparently she loves Rollerblading and soccer. She has said since she was age 3 that she loved playing soccer, but she doesn't actually. 

In one essay she said that her real name was Hannah, because she remembers the story we told her about how she was almost named Hannah. 

I was able to take her home after the reading, since it was so close to the end of her school day. As we were walking out to the car, Marissa says to me, "Mommy, I don't understand why my teacher called it an Arthur's Reading." I had to explain to her that it was an Author's Reading, meaning the kids were the authors.

"Oh," she laughed, "That makes more sense."  

After Friday's tragedy, this time spent with Marissa was poignant, the classroom filled with a parent (or two) for nearly every child. We all smiled at each other and nodded as we turned to listen to and spend time with the most important people in the room -- the kids. 

This was by far the most important meeting of my day. I'm so glad I made it.

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