Mom and School
I always liked school.
Mostly because of my mom.
See, mom knew school was important.
It was important to try your best (whatever your best may be).
It was important to be with friends.
It was important to listen and share and gain confidence and smile.
So, every morning, my mom would get up with us, and make us breakfast. She’d cut our toast into squares. She’d pack our lunch (except for Italian Dunker day), and she’d watch us go out to the bus.
My mom never swore. Ever. And there was one particular word, she would make sure she’d never say.
She’d just spell it…. J-O-B.
The day before I was born, May 10, 1978 was my mom’s last day “working” a “real J-O-B.” She worked at a bank.
But really, her kids (me and my bro) were her job. (Don’t worry moms who are reading this…your kids may not tell you that you’re doing awesome, but you are, and they’ll tell you someday)
So, after she watched us walk out to the bus, she started her day.
And most of her day consisted of being at our school.
I’m not sure if there is some sort of award for being a Catholic School volunteer (yep, guilty (key word for a Catholic, huh?) as charged, I was a Catholic School kid), but my mom surely would have won it year after year.
She was the cafeteria mom, nurse mom, church mom, classroom mom….and just about any other “mom” title you can think of.
But above all else, my mom was the mom that you were never embarassed about.
I loved her. And every kid in my class loved her.
She always smiled. She addressed everyone by name. She asked questions. And she was genuinely interested in whomever she was talking to.
And the kids really loved her on my birthday.
Back in the day, when every kid wasn’t allergic to every thing out there, we could bring treats for our birthdays.
I never brought a treat.
My mom did.
From first grade all the way up to 8th grade, my mom brought my birthday treat.
Even though I was quiet, my mom was good at making me feel happy.
Late in the day, she’d pop by my classroom with a paper bag from Country Store (remember Country Store?) or Red Owl (remember Red Owl?) or SuperValu or Rainbow or whatever hadn’t gone out of business yet.
And she had the ultimate birthday treat.
Every year, it was orange pushups.
On the day of my birthday, every kid in my class would be so excited to see my mom, that it was hard to concentrate. I actually think my birthday could have been the cause of ADD back in the late 80′s.
They knew that sometime during the day, Mrs. Skavnak would pop into the classroom with a bag full of orange pushups.
And the place would erupt.
Kids would clap, yell, laugh, and smile.
We’d eat our orange pushups, talk with my mom, thank her, and then say goodbye.
And the best part of all…
When I jumped off that bus, and walked back to my house, mom was waiting inside with a giant smile on her face.
Every. Single. Day.
Something to Remember on the First Day of School (2013 Edition)
I’m not afraid to take a stand. Everybody, come take my hand. We’ll walk this road together, through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm. Then you know that, you’re not alone. Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.
Eminem – Not Afraid
In 2011, I wrote a letter to students. It was basically a kick in the butt to be better in school. Not in the academic or athletic side of things, but in the general “good person” kind of way.
It was read by a lot of people. (Check it out here, if you haven’t read it yet)
So, last year, I did it again.
This time I enlisted help. Help from people I had never met before…musical artists. I grabbed their lyrics and made a letter out of them. (I worked for months on it, and it turned out well…it was read by a ton of people too….check it out here, if you haven’t seen it).
Now it’s time to do it again. A simple letter that parents, teachers, and kids can use to hopefully be a little better.
Because, really, is school going to go exactly how we want it to go?
But there’s a little trick that we can use to make this school year go well…
It’s that time again.
The time where you have to wake up a little earlier, pay a little bit more attention, and get into more of a routine.
Yep, another year of school.
But, it’s all right. I got your back.
Because I always liked school. I got to be with my friends every day. I got to play games. I was challenged. And come on, Italian Dunker day…can’t beat that.
Your first few days of school will have that weird, awkward adjustment that happens every year. You’ll worry if you can make it to class in enough time. You’ll be bummed that you can’t sit next to your friend in class. You’ll forget something at home that you needed for class.
Don’t worry. You’re a real person. It’s going to happen.
But, you’ll survive.
And I can help you knock this fear and awkwardness away.
You just have to do something that is going to make you stand out. Something that is going to make people take notice. Something in itself that may be a little scary.
Be generous…and give.
It’s really that simple.
Because you aren’t going to get every question on every test correct.
But you can give your best effort.
Because you aren’t going to be friends with everyone.
But you can give attention to the ones that matter to you.
Because some things may come easier to you than others.
And you can give your help to them.
Generosity makes school (and the world) a little better place.
You don’t have to be the coolest kids with the best clothes and best stuff to stand out.
That doesn’t matter.
But if you give a little more than you think you can…you’re a rock star.
You’re the one that the important people will take notice of.
You’re the one that will be smiling more.
You’re the one that will be confident and ready.
Generosity is something that takes practice. And I got your back.
What I found is that when you focus your energy on helping other people and giving what you can to them, then your life becomes a whole lot easier.
You’ll be happier and you’ll smile more.
Things won’t seem as scary.
Give a smile.
Give a compliment.
Give of your time.
Give something you think someone else needs.
And when you feel like you’ve given enough…
Give a little more.
P.S. Now it’s your turn…give this letter to someone who you think would like it. Forward it on to them, or send them to www.thehappiestgolfer.com. (It’s right on the front page)
Facebook: Bryan Skavnak Golf Academy