Our first teacher crisis came in August when N's voice teacher announced she would not be giving private lessons this year. Mrs. R is everything that a teacher should be- kind, encouraging, teaching and inspiring N to give her best- the Randy Jackson of vocal instruction. My children have been fortunate; they have had several great teachers like Mrs. R, so I know they are out there. I just need to find one. After several frantic phone calls, I found Miss J. Miss J smiles a lot, tells my daughter she is wonderful when she is wonderful, and has constructive suggestions to help her improve. Once again, we have won the teacher lottery.
Em, my youngest, also likes to sing. She auditioned and was accepted into honor choir at her middle school. This is wonderful, except that she needs to be at school 45 minutes earlier on Wednesday for practice. Unlike N, the high strung oldest daughter, Em takes a 'living la vida loca' approach to life. For some reason, neither of us remembers practice until its Wednesday morning, and she needs to be at practice in 10 minutes. Luckily, school is only a 5 minute drive away, and I look stunning when I get out of bed in the morning. So if you ever see a woman on the side of the road standing next to a blue-gray Saturn with bed-head in flannel pajamas and flip flops with a cup of coffee in her hand just keep driving. She might me a little embarrassed if she thought anyone recognized her.
So last Wednesday, we were late, 5 minutes late. The teacher has a written policy; 3 times late for practice, and you are out of honor choir. I signed the contract. Em signed the contract. There is accountability. I gave Em the obligatory 'you are almost 13 years old and need to be more responsible for yourself if you want to stay in honor choir' lecture, then kicked her out of the car to meet her fate. I sounded like a mommy version of Simon Cowell.
Later that evening, I asked Em if she had apologized to the teacher, and she said yes. I asked what the teacher said. The response surprised me. The teacher said, "It's okay. It is a gray, rainy, be 5 minutes late kind of day."
"She likes you, doesn't she?" I said to Em.
"Yes, she does," Em responded.
I gave Em a hug. "I like you, too." Sometimes, it's nice to get a little Paula Abdul.